Waste facility is back on track

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A PLANNED waste recycling facility which will create 275 jobs in South Kirkby is back on track after a new arrangement was agreed between the parties involved.

A district-wide £750m waste private finance initiative (PFI) between Wakefield Council and Babcock International Group Plc was thrown into jeopardy in November after Babcock confirmed it was undertaking a review of its business portfolio.

The plan including building a hi-tech waste treatment and recycling facility and a state-of-the-art household waste recycling centre at the former South Kirkby Colliery site.

But now the project is moving forward as a result of the new arrangement, which has been put in place by Babcock and Shanks Waste Management Ltd.

The companies have entered into a ‘teaming agreement’, which means they have joined together to deliver the project, which has £33m of government funding.

The consortium will combine the engineering expertise of Babcock with the waste management experience provided by Shanks.

Wakefield Council will continue negotiations with both companies to ensure everything is ready for the contract to be officially signed.

Joanne Roney, the council’s chief executive, said: “I am very pleased that Babcock and Shanks have entered into this agreement and I look forward to working with the team to move the project to financial close later this year.”

Coun Olivia Rowley, cabinet member for environment and communities, said: “This is excellent news for the district and I am now very optimistic about the outcome later this year. The dedication of everyone involved in the negotiations demonstrates the determination to see this project delivered.

“The waste PFI will help us all recycle more waste and reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill, as well as giving the district a real employment boost with the creation of new jobs.”