Thursday, January 28, 2021

Novartis legacy to create wetland bird and wildlife mitigation site along South Humber Bank

A legacy to Novartis Grimsby will take the shape of a unique wildlife site, which will provide industrial opportunity along the South Humber Bank in the decades ahead.

When the pharmaceutical giant leaves the town in December 2021 after 70-years it will have transferred 35 acres of its land as a legacy to the local community, to North East Lincolnshire Council’s SHIIP programme, (South Humber Industrial Investment Programme).

SHIIP, being managed by the council’s regeneration partner ENGIE, represents a £42m investment in highway, infrastructure and building projects along the South Humber Bank, with the hope of creating up to 3,000 new jobs.

The new mitigation land will be named Novartis Ings and will enable ENGIE, under council direction, to create another wetland bird and wildlife mitigation site. Such sites provide opportunities for companies looking to build or expand in the area.

Firms would have previously been required to obtain land for wildlife to offset their developments. A planning requirement, this process risks delaying developments for months and can be hugely expensive. Thanks to the mitigation project, the land is ready and waiting for them.

Whilst this is the second such site – joining the national award-winning Cress Marsh at Stallingborough – it is the first to be located right alongside the Estuary. As such, it provides an enhanced opportunity to protect the birdlife that uses the rivers and its mudflats as vital feeding grounds.

North East Lincolnshire Council’s Ecology officer Rachel Graham has been responsible for the development of Cress Marsh and is delighted at the prospect of this second site.

“When you look at what has been achieved at Cress Marsh, its scale and size and the bird and wildlife we are attracting, it makes the prospect of developing Novartis Ings extremely exciting,” said Rachel.

Novartis Grimsby site head, Ian Johnson, said when the idea was raised it was readily accepted as a way in which the company could leave a legacy of opportunity.

“Clearly the day that we say goodbye for the final time will be an extremely emotional one for many, who have enjoyed a lifetime’s career here at Novartis Grimsby. We did not want to simply leave without leaving a legacy, a gesture that would remind others of our time here, but also be one that assisted and encouraged growth in the years to come. Novartis Ings offers a chance for that growth to be both industrial and environmental,” said Mr Johnson.

Thanking Novartis Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire Council’s Leader, Cllr Philip Jackson, said: “The opportunity for us to develop this wonderful site on the banks of the Humber is great and we look forward to seeing it progress. The whole SHIIP programme is extremely important to the future prosperity of the North East Lincolnshire and we appreciate the gesture that Novartis has made in ensuring its legacy will be an extremely positive one.”

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