SOG Group’s vision for the future of The Heath
SOG Group has 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.
Speaking at a meeting of business leaders in Liverpool on Tuesday SOG Group Managing Director John Lewis said: “20 years ago SOG saved a major employment centre within Liverpool City Region and its skilled workforce. The site was regenerated into a thriving Business and Technical Park, exceeding expectations. Incredibly, we achieved this without any Government funding and by raising finance through traditional methods.”
Today, around 120 individual businesses, from across multiple business sectors, operate from The Heath; and, with additional off-site services and supply from a local/regional supply chain, The Heath Business and Technical Park supports over 2,000 jobs.
Mr Lewis said: “My aim is to see the location become a sustainable, futuristic environment where people can live, work and play – a model development that places the health and well-being of a living and working community at its core. Our vision is to see Heath Park set the standards for how we should be living and working in decades to come.”
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.
Mr Lewis said: “We have had an excellent response from around the world with entries coming in from five continents. They are contributing their visions for a brighter future which will enhance well-being, preserve the environment and which harnesses technology for the good of us all. Today RIBA is announcing the eight top entries which will now qualify for the second part of the process which will involve a new brief. We expect this process to be complete and a winner announced in July.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said SOG have a proven track record and had helped to bring in over £2 billion of investment to the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.
SOG spearheaded the regeneration of a major pharmaceutical plant in east London where the company created Londoneast-uk Business and Technical Park, a sister site to The Heath.
Giving an insight into the size of the Heath Park location, Mr Rotheram said he was recently onboard the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, The Prince of Wales. “I was told the Prince of Wales is the size of three football pitches, well Heath Park is the size of 100 of these aircraft carriers!”
Mr Rotheram said he hoped Heath Park, with its aspirational vision and a world-leading housing programme, would attract similar investment to the Liverpool City Region. The Metro Mayor added: “John, I wish you every success with this Beacon Project, and I’m sure that with your drive we will see something like this come to fruition.”
Closing his presentation Mr Lewis added: “SOG is wholly owned by me. I am a committee of one and I want to see the site transformed by the very best, with funding raised from the very best, who l want to embrace our dynamic vision. We will seek those with a desire to create something very special.
“We now need to attract and engage with like-minded ethical investors that share our vision and desire to turn our Heath Park vision into reality. Wouldn’t it be an absolute shame if between all of us we didn’t have the ambition to deliver a project like this; a project that would benefit and teach others around the world how you can build for people whilst creating better environments where we can all truly live, work and play!”
For more information on ‘Heath Park’ visit: www.heathpark-uk.com
View Heath Park film: https://vimeo.com/396128426
For more information on SOG and The Heath Business and Technical Park visit: www.theheath.com