SOG Limited have unveiled proposals to see The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn transformed into a sustainable and futuristic environment where people can work, live and play.
Merseyside businessman John Lewis, the owner of SOG, says: “Our vision is to see our location transformed into ‘Heath Park’ which will set the standards for how we should be living and working in decades to come. I believe ‘Heath Park’ can become a modern-day version of Port Sunlight, the early Victorian example of social and environmental community, created by Lever Brothers for workers from their soap manufacturing plant in North West England.
“I want to see ‘Heath Park’ become a world-leading model of environmental and social excellence which can be replicated elsewhere. My aim is to get the message out to ethical investors that SOG’s site sits within one of the fastest growing economies in the UK and that we have a brilliant, really cutting-edge concept in which to invest in.”
SOG has sponsored a ‘Vision for Future Living’ competition in conjunction with RIBA, The Royal Institute of British Architects, with the objective of generating conceptual ideas that might be adopted into the Heath Park project, which seeks to create a sustainable, multi-use and net carbon-free environment.
The competition is being judged by a panel of highly acclaimed UK architects including Paul Monaghan, Liverpool City Region’s Design Champion.
Says Mr Lewis: “I’m particularly interested in ideas which promote health and happiness, and help to eradicate loneliness and poverty. Over the past 20 years we have taken an ailing industrial site and regenerated it into a thriving business and science centre, and a crucial community asset for Runcorn.
“The Heath Business and Technical Park has been a very successful regeneration project. Today around 120 individual businesses, from across more than 20 different business sectors, operate from The Heath. We are an important employment centre supporting around 2,000 jobs. With the regeneration of The Heath complete, we are perfectly positioned to look to the future and see this location evolve into our ‘Heath Park’ vision, a truly state-of-the-art business, residential and community environment which not only meets the challenges of the future but is a pathfinder for others to follow.”
Mr Lewis adds: “SOG has a fantastic track record. Only recently we played a leading role in the regeneration of a former pharmaceutical plant in east London where we created the Londoneast-uk Business and Technical Park and helped to attract over £2b of inward investment in just over four years. I believe that our vision in Runcorn and the results we have delivered in the past make ‘Heath Park’ an attractive and very real proposition for ethical investors.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor for Liverpool City Region, says: “SOG’s vision of transforming The Heath Business and Technical Park into ‘Heath Park’ – a state-of-the-art, sustainable environment in which to live and work – is precisely the kind of inspirational project that aligns with our vision of a growing, dynamic and prosperous Liverpool City Region. This beacon project complements Liverpool City Region’s Local Industrial Strategy while SOG’s intention to target ethical investors for this excellent initiative perfectly aligns with our innovative model of truly inclusive economic growth.”