Monday, 24 January 2011

A real legacy for Ynys Môn

A legacy to Ynys Môn? The Shell site in Rhosgoch. 
One of the more unpredictable side-effects of the heavy snow in December was that it forced a delay in the process of selling Anglesey Aluminium's Penrhos site. Whereas all bids were originally supposed to be in by January 10th, the snow made site visits by potential buyers impossible and consequently the deadline for bids was pushed back to last Friday. The Daily Post quotes a company source saying "the site had attracted strong interest from a range of industrial sectors" including "at least one wind turbine manufacturer and a smelting firm". My guess is that the wind turbine manufacturer involved is Windpower Wales.

There has been a suggestion trailed in the local press by the Labour party that Anglesey Aluminium shouldn't be selling the site but should instead donate it to the Island, similar to the way Shell donated its Rhosgoch tank farm site back in the 1970s. As this would effectively mean transferring the land to Anglesey County Council -- the same body which is currently riven once again by infighting and has failed over the decades to make any effective use of the Rhosgoch site whatsoever -- I would far prefer to see AAM sell the site on the open market to companies which can use it to bring work back to Holyhead as soon as possible.

In fact the prospectus of sale for the site contains some very unusual requirements for potential bidders which gives me great hope that it will not just be sold off to property developers for example. In addition to asking for audited accounts, bank details and so on, bidders are also required to provide the following information:

  • Evidence of the company’s track record of purchasing, developing and managing large industrial complexes and sites, and the job creation/quality of jobs created that resulted from these projects.
  • A maximum of three relevant examples of projects where you have worked in partnership with the public sector to deliver new employment and regeneration. Please confirm the company’s role and also provide details of the public sectors’ role in these projects including referees from whom we could take up references.

Doesn't sound like AAM is just planning to sell off the site to property developers, does it?

The best possible legacy which AAM could leave for Anglesey would be to ensure that the site is bought by companies which will use the Penrhos site and its infrastructure productively whilst also creating long term jobs. Lets hope that this happens.


Anonymous said...

Fingers crossed for Holyhead.

The irony with Rhosgoch is that the Trust (which is really all the councillors on Anglesey - and nobody else - wrapped-up in a notionally separate legal entity) has persistently seen big business/indsutry as the 'correct' disposal route. It has never entertained, for example, full ownership by the people of Anglesey and entirely separate from the Council. They could have a park, a forest, a mix of small business premises and park, a renewable energy centre generating income, a nature sanctuary. All sorts of things.

The Red Flag said...

We desperately need a large manufacturing development paying skilled wages so that it forces other employers to pay more.

Until the working-wage levels increase there will be no recovery on the island. We need to be in a position where Tescos, Morrisons etc cannot recruit because their wges are to low and workers have better paying alternatives.

The Real Insider. said...

Emerging news from the Kremlin.

County Council on the Point of Collapse?
Watch this space for details later today.

The Real Insider. said...

Calls made tonight for clivie boy to go now, Council in turmoil, Assembly Recovery Program in tatters and Gwynedd waiting in the side lines to take over and grab Anglesey's £30 million surplus and the Shell Fund to supplement their £40 million deficit.
Clive you've really blown it this tim, for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Had a wonder round Rhosgoch the other day. Worked on the design back in the 70's. Any developer would have to be mad to touch the site. Site remediation will cost not far off a million, all those hydrocarbons in the ground.