‘Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner identified the former Markham Colliery as a prime spot for a business site and motorway link to regenerate an area crushed by the demise fo the mining industry. The Labour politician put pressure on the Government to make the site’s redevelopment a reality and was determined to bring in the vital M1 Motorway Junction 29a. He helped appeal for funding for the business park with financial backers including the Department for Transport, English Partnerships, East Midlands Development Agency, the European Union’s Regional Development Fund and British Coal.
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is also among the project’s partners and planning consent for the scheme was granted by Chesterfield Borough, NE Derbyshire and Bolsover district councils. But following the recession, the link road which was dubbed ‘Skinner Junction’ when it was launched last year, is looking more like the road to nowhere despite hopes it would bring in trade as a central, major British trade route with Europe.
The junction was opened alongside plans to build a series of connecting roads within two years around the site with plans to widen the motorway to four lanes but it is still awaiting an influx of traders. However, key partners Derbyshire County Council and developers Henry Boot Ltd argued the scheme is a long-term project and they remain confident Junction 29a will still pave the way to regeneration.
Cllr Simon Spencer, regeneration chief, described the site’s road networks as ‘superb’ and Henry Boot development surveyor Ben Ward said it’s location and access to the M1 made it one of the best spots in the country for business.
The Derbyshire Times was unable to contact Mr Skinner about the development’s progress at the time of going to press.’
Perhaps the DT should have left a message on his Facebook page!