Land deal opens door to huge 2.5m sq ft logistics and rail freight scheme

National logistics developer Tritax Symmetry has unveiled plans for a 2.5 million sq ft logistics scheme in St Helens, within the Liverpool City Region Freeport zone.

It has completed the off-market acquisition of a 221-acre site, for an undisclosed sum, and plans to bring forward its logistics scheme and a new strategic rail freight interchange project (SRFI).

Located on junction 22 of the M6, the allocated employment site, known as Parkside East, sits within the borough of St Helens and the Liverpool City Region and lies next to Warrington and Wigan.

The St Chad’s railway line runs adjacent to the north of the site and is equidistant from Liverpool to Manchester.

Following the purchase, Tritax Symmetry is working up a detailed masterplan and will apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to allow the development of the whole project.

This marks the second rail freight interchange project Tritax Symmetry is leading on in the past two years. In Hinckley, Leicestershire, the developer is seeking to bring forward a multi-modal freight interchange and distribution centre.

Andrew Dickman, managing director at Tritax Symmetry, said: “As a business, we have been strategically identifying more sustainable projects which align with our own values.

“With the recent news that the HS2 leg from Birmingham to Manchester has been cancelled, this is a timely public-private sector intervention that will see significant investment into the Liverpool City Region and the wider infrastructure network.”

He added: “Parkside East is a major project and one we believe will be an exemplar in providing greener, more efficient solutions, removing freight from main line stations and in doing so alleviating pressure and freeing up passenger capacity.”

Sean Traynor, director of strategic growth at St Helens Borough Council, said: “The adoption of the council’s Local Plan in 2022 unlocked Parkside East and I am delighted to see this investment by Tritax Symmetry. We are looking forward to working with them alongside our partners at Liverpool City Region to develop a first class intermodal Strategic Rail Freight Interchange, a key feature which makes Parkside East a development site of regional and national importance.”

Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram, and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, awarded a £24m grant from its Strategic Investment Fund towards the Parkside Link Road project to improve connectivity to one of the city region’s key employment sites.

Mayor Rotheram said: “I am looking forward to seeing the site become a bustling hub of businesses and opportunity. It will form a key part of our Freeport, which has the potential to attract international investment, create more well paid, highly skilled jobs for local people and build on our existing strengths.

“But, for me, it has to mean much more than that. I want to ensure that there is purpose behind this status that fuels greater social mobility, innovation, and inclusion for our whole region.”

The site was acquired from a private client. Helen Vickery of Ingham and Yorke advised the vendor. Tritax represented itself.

Tritax Symmetry is part of Tritax Big Box REIT.