Views sought as Peel Ports outlines transformation blueprint for Hunterston

A masterplan for the Hunterston industrial complex in North Ayrshire has been unveiled as a consultation is launched on the site’s future.

Peel Ports said the transformation of the former coal-handling port will support more than 1,700 jobs and add £140 million to Scotland’s economy.

The masterplan seeks to capitalise on the Hunterston Port and Resource Centre (Parc) site’s extensive deepwater and rail connections which should make it a prime location for new investment.

Hunterston was originally constructed as an iron ore terminal and was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1979. Hunterston was, for many years, used for the bulk import of coal. The site has lain dormant since its closure in 2016, which resulted in the loss of 120 jobs.

Since then, Peel Ports Group has been working with public and private sector partners across the region to define viable and productive future for the site.

Planning permission was been granted by North Ayrshire Council in 2018 for the decommissioning of oil rigs at Hunterston.

Potential uses put forward for the site include a liquid natural gas terminal, combined cycle gas turbine power station, a train manufacturing plant, facilities for marine construction and decommissioning and a location for plastics recycling and storage.

Peel has invited North Ayrshire residents and businesses to share their opinions about potential uses of the site in a six-week consultation.

Andrew Hemphill, port director at Peel Ports Clydeport, said: “No other single site in the UK offers Hunterston’s unrivalled combination of deep-water, extensive land area and transport links.

“This historic industrial site has the potential to transform Scotland’s prospects in a variety of key economic sectors, providing jobs, skills development, import and export opportunities for decades to come.

“The intended benefits that we have set out can only be achieved with the input of the local community, public sector agencies and commercial partners. That will help us to create a final version that reflects the shared ambitions of the people who live, work and invest in North Ayrshire.”

Consultations will close on June 28 with Peel adopting its final masterplan in 2020.

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