The site of an iconic power station which helped to support Warrington’s economy over the past 50 years will continue to secure much-needed future investment for the town and wider region after a change in ownership.
Natural resources and energy company Peel NRE, part of regeneration business Peel L&P, has acquired the Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station from energy company SSE Thermal ahead of producing a 10 to 15-year mixed-use masterplan for the 820-acre site – one of the largest brownfield sites in the country.
The power station and its eight cooling towers sits near the River Mersey in between Warrington and Halton and was decommissioned in 2020 in line with Government policy to phase out coal-fired facilities by 2025.
With its parent company responsible for some of the country’s most transformational projects across the North West including The Trafford Centre, MediaCity at Salford Quays and Liverpool Waters, Peel NRE will now help to mark a new era for Warrington by developing fresh plans to regenerate the former fossil-fuel dependent power station.
These proposals will include the demolition of the former energy facility and restoration of ash lagoons to make way for new developments for industrial use and the creation of a new sustainable community to help boost jobs and skills and address local housing shortages.
Plans will also create extensive new parkland and wildlife areas to enhance the environment and are being delivered in partnership with Peel L&P’s homebuilder Northstone and specialist UK logistics development business PLP.
The Fiddler’s Ferry site, which also includes agricultural land, was identified in the 2021 version of the Warrington Local Plan for the development of around 250-acres for employment use and a minimum of 1,760 new homes.
Kieran Tames, Development Director for Peel NRE said: “Fiddler’s Ferry power station has been a local landmark and part of the community for many years but as the UK moves away from the use of fossil fuels for energy generation, the site was recently decommissioned by SSE.
“We now want to work with local people to develop exciting new plans and mark a new era for the site that best respects its history and meets the future economic, social and environmental ambitions of Warrington, the neighbouring district of Halton and their communities.
“As echoed in the draft local plan, employment, housing, parkland and wildlife areas are a key part of this and with decades of experience regenerating towns and cities across the UK, we are confident that we can bring forward proposals that build on the strengths of both areas and create new exciting communities with more jobs, better homes and facilities, and open space to help improve lives.
“We have a significant track record in regenerating redundant heavy industrial sites and we are keen to continue investing in more opportunities like this and work with partners to support local and regional economies.”
Peel NRE will also help to oversee the land remediation of the site and will be in touch with the community as plans progress.
John Johnson, Director of Development for SSE Thermal, said: “Fiddler’s Ferry was a major contributor to our energy system for decades, but as we power past coal the decision was made to close the site in 2019. As custodians of the site for more than 15 years, we know how much it means to the local community and during the sale process we wanted to find a buyer who would ensure the site continued to play a vital role moving forward.
“In Peel NRE, we are passing the baton to a developer with ambitious plans to regenerate Fiddler’s Ferry, providing new economic opportunities for the local community, and we look forward to seeing those plans progress in the years ahead.”