The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), on which Salford Council sits, has given 'in principle' approval for £4.6 million in loan funding to Port Salford Holdings, part of Peel Holdings.
The loan has been handed to Peel, according to GMCA, "to deliver road improvements, reduce congestion and create better local transport connections to the new Port Salford National Import Centre"...but Peel has already had over £30million of loans and grants from the public purse, which included funding for its Port Salford roads.
Back in 2011, the Salford Star revealed that the Greater Manchester Growth Fund had provided £15million towards Port Salford, while Salford Council added a further £15million - £4million as a grant, and £11million as a loan – on which the Council would pay the interest for five years until 2016, costing the Council £360,000 per year in repayments (see previous Salford Star article – click here)
At the time, the then Leader of Salford Council, John Merry, reasoned in the Salford Star that "To make this work we will need to make significant improvements to the traffic infrastructure in the area and it is absolutely right that we support this scheme which will bring a significant financial boost and new job opportunities to the city..."
Europe's Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency (TEN-T EA) also handed over a grant of 998,125 euros for viability studies for the Port Salford infrastructure.
On announcing the new grant to Peel, GMCA stated that "The project will support the creation of hundreds of jobs throughout the Port Salford site and will directly create at least forty temporary jobs in construction."
The Salford Star has questioned the amount of jobs being claimed by Peel as being created by Port Salford. It's numbers have varied from 1,170 jobs to 3,858 `gross permanent jobs' (see previous Salford Star article – click here).
Meanwhile, local residents in Barton and Irlam, where the Port Salford freight terminal is to be based, were outraged when Peel received planning permission to build a huge warehouse before the roads were in place (see here).
This latest GMCA loan brings the total of public money that Peel Holdings, in its various guises, has received to over £35million. Peel Holdings is owned by the Peter Whittaker family which, according to the Sunday Times Rich List is worth £2,370million, the second wealthiest people in the North West. Last year, according to the List the family's wealth increased by £70million from the previous year...