Wakefield waste scheme will bring new jobs

JOBS BOOST: Coun Peter Box, Joanne Rooney (chief executive) and Mike Winterbottom of Shanks plc.
JOBS BOOST: Coun Peter Box, Joanne Rooney (chief executive) and Mike Winterbottom of Shanks plc.
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Sixty permanent jobs are expected to be created in Yorkshire through a scheme which creates energy from household waste.

Waste firm Shanks and Wakefield Council have agreed a 25-year private finance initiative (PFI) deal, worth £750m, to build a recycling and anaerobic digestion plant in West Yorkshire.

The project has been backed by a £30.4m investment from the Green Investment Bank (GIB), which opened in November with £3bn of funding from the Government.

The bank has been set up as a public company to make a profit.

It aims to develop the green economy and attract private sector capital for projects that protect the environment, including offshore wind schemes and initiatives that turn waste into energy.

Barclays, German bank BayernLB and the Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation are also providing funding for the Wakefield Council project.

Shanks said the plans for the plant in South Kirkby, which will power about 3,000 homes, are set to create about 250 jobs during construction work.

GIB chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin said yesterday: “Each year the UK generates approximately 190 million tonnes of waste, which causes environmental damage and costs businesses and consumers money.

“The UK Green Investment Bank is committed to reducing the amount of waste which goes to landfill, supporting the UK in its transition to a low carbon economy, while driving a commercial return for the bank.”

Shanks said the facility will process up to 230,000 tonnes of waste each year and will help the council divert 90 per cent of waste away from landfill.

Under the contract, Milton Keynes-based Shanks will also take over a network of household waste recycling centres.

Coun Peter Box the leader of Wakefield Council, welcomed the scheme. He said yesterday: “It is excellent news for the district, bringing jobs and investment, as well as improving a service which is always high on the public’s agenda.”

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