£750m deal is back on right track

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A £750m deal to transform the city’s recycling facilities and create 350 jobs is back on track.

The Express revealed in November that the Waste PFI (private finance initiative) deal between Wakefield Council and Babcock International Group Plc was hanging in the balance, after the company hinted it was preparing to back out of the scheme in its half year financial report.

But after months of frantic crunch talks, council chiefs announced this week that the deal was a step closer to completion after Babcock International Group PLC teamed up with Shanks Waste Management Ltd on the project.

Joanne Roney, chief executive of Wakefield Council, 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.”

The new partnership will combine the engineering expertise of Babcock with the waste management experience of Shanks.

Negotiations have been underway since 2007 for the initiative which includes plans for 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.

Household waste recycling in Wakefield would be centralised with the Denby Dale Road site being transformed into a purpose-built centre, and there would be a modified waste site at Welbeck.

Once the initiative, which will create 350 jobs, is up and running, smaller recycling sites like Owl Lane in Ossett would close.

The PFI project has Government financial support to the value of £33m.