Scotland to get £250m rail freight terminal

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North Lanarkshire Council is considering proposals for a £250 million International Railfreight Terminal at the existing Mossend rail head in Central Scotland.

A planning application for the expansion of the existing railhead and the development of the Railfreight Park was submitted in November 2013 to the council by site owners PD Stirling and joint venture partners the ID Meiklam Trust.

Mossend International Railfreight Park (MIRP) will expand the existing Mossend Railhead to provide Scotland with a two thirds increased capacity rail link to UK and European markets. Two million sq ft of warehousing and manufacturing space adjacent to the terminal will house bespoke, carbon neutral distribution, service and logistics facilities that will allow occupiers to load directly to and from the trains.

Facilities will be built to meet market demand to accommodate a range of operators and building types with 4900 jobs expected to be created through the development and operational phases of the project.

Rail freight has been increasing in popularity with supermarkets and material handling firms looking to transfer goods to and from Europe. The proposed Railfreight Park will support this growth with its capability to handle the new class of 775m long electric trains on a daily basis. As well as lowering distribution costs for occupiers, the development would help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by moving vehicles from road to rail.

Construction is programmed to start in 2015 with phased development of the site through to 2030. CBRE are advising on development and leasing.

Executive Director Paul Farrow said “This is a major step forward for what will be a significant development for freight rail. The proposed terminal will not only improve the rail connections between the UK and mainland Europe, its location on private land will give occupiers direct access to the terminal, thereby limiting disruption on public highways.”

The Scottish Government’s proposed Third National Planning Framework (NPF3), which has been submitted to the Parliament for consideration and is expected to be adopted in June of this year, recognises Mossend as one of three important freight interchanges and highlights that rail freight will become increasingly important as our export potential grows.

Ibstock Brick recently established their Scottish depot at Mossend in anticipation of the proposed new development. They join existing operator Hanson Concrete Solutions, who have operated from the site for the past six years.

Nick Spence, Property Manager North, for Ibstock Brick said, “The strategic location of the rail freight terminal and the proposed future expansion of the site was one of the things that attracted us to locate part of our business to Bellshill. It is a great potential opportunity for businesses like ours to use rail freight as means of reducing costs and moving our products in a sustainable way.”

A decision on the planning application is due in early summer 2014.

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