SOLD! New owners of ironworks site

STANTON ironworks have been bought by a Midlands developer who plan to regenerate the 500-acre site to create jobs and housing.

Spring Urban Regeneration's deal will also allow former owners Saint-Gobain to remain at the site.

A public consultation will start later in the spring and a planning application is expected to be submitted in the summer of 2009.

The Stanton-by-Dale plant closed in May last year with the loss of 220 jobs - ending 150 years of iron pipe production.

Saint Gobain made the decision at the end of 2006, saying they had been affected by the rising cost of steel and energy.

Andy Wilkins, Spring managing director said: "This is a major acquisition for Spring and presents a unique chance to generate a sustainable, community-focused development informed and influenced by local people.

"We are keen to understand the dynamics of the local area and will be seeking to establish a positive process moving forward."

"We wish to work closely with the local authority and regional bodies to ensure an appropriate redevelopment of the site.

"The suitable transformation of this land will establish employment zones, a new district centre and both residential and commercial development."

Saint-Gobain Pipelines managing director Paul Minchin, said: "This is excellent news for Saint-Gobain Pipelines and the local community, as the proposed development of the site will generate new homes and jobs for Ilkeston and the surrounding areas.

"Equally importantly, the deal ensures that there will be a Saint-Gobain activity on this site for many years to come."

The site was identified in an Erewash Borough Council Area Action Plan in 2006 as a suitable location for residential and commercial development.

Spring, the regeneration arm of Castlemore Securities Ltd, struck the deal with Tamar Group Ltd.

The plant once employed 9,000 people, bringing stability to the local economy even when collieries were under threat.

It grew from an iron furnace set up in 1785 and was privately owned until it was nationalised after World War Two.