Work to begin on Doncaster’s £400m inland port

Published 10th October 2013 at 8:47am

WORK is set to start on the £400m Doncaster Inland Port project in Sheffield City Region, after a major North American investor announced it is backing the development.

The 6m sq ft rail logistics project will see about 5,500 jobs created in the South Yorkshire town after developer Verdion, formerly Helios Europe, signed an exclusive partnership with the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP).

The Inland Port, known as iPort, is one of the private sector developments that will get off the ground thanks to the Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme (FARRRS).

The new link to the motorway network also unlocks growth potential at Robin Hood Airport and helps deliver about 1,200 homes through Harworth Estates planned development on the former Rossington Colliery site.

The idea of the scheme is to create an inland port with customs clearance and bonded warehouses that can relieve pressure on storage capacity at coastal sites.

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said: “HOOPP is another major investor to see the growth potential of Doncaster. We have a clear strategic vision for the town and by putting the right infrastructure in place we are supporting major private sector investment. As one of the top 100 pension funds in the world, HOOPP’s commitment to Verdion’s iPort development is a real feather in our cap.

“Doncaster is firmly on the up and overseas investment in projects like this justifies our optimism for the future. We are looking forward to a project of European significance locating within our borough.”

Michael Hughes, CEO of Verdion, added: “HOOPP is the absolute ideal long-term partner for our company. They already heavily invest in the industrial and logistics sector in North America and have been looking for a suitable partner to expand their exposure to the UK/European logistics market for some time. With over $5bn invested in real estate, managed by a highly entrepreneurial Toronto-based property team, their backing is a massive endorsement to our business and for Doncaster.”

HOOPP is one of the largest benefit pension plans in Canada and this investment is part of its strategy to expand into Europe.

Michael Catford, vice president, real estate, at HOOPP, said: “This is a great opportunity for HOOPP to partner with an experienced developer to create a pipeline of logistics facilities in the UK and Europe and builds upon our extensive experience and investments in the industrial sector across Canada.”