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Operator of International Railfreight Park gives up lease

Telford | News | Published:

The operator of Telford's multi-million-pound International Railfreight Park has quit a 15-year lease after losing money on the scheme, it emerged this afternoon.

The operator of Telford's multi-million-pound International Railfreight Park has quit a 15-year lease after losing money on the scheme, it emerged this afternoon.

Bosses at JG Russell, which runs the £7.75 million park in Donnington, are now operating the railfreight on a temporary contract being paid up to £2,250 a week by Telford & Wrekin Council until a new operator can be found.

A report due to go the borough council's cabinet committee on Thursday says: "Russell's reasons for executing the break clause were that the company were bearing losses on the operation of the site that could not be sustained.

"Those losses arose from a contract with UK Coal for movement of coal from the site that did not materialise."

The park, which opened in June 2009, was built to provide direct access for county companies to the UK rail network and to Europe via the Channel Tunnel.

The council's new Labour cabinet will meet next week to approve a proposal to find a new operator.

Councillor Clive Elliott, said: "The recession has hit inward investment generally, but having a rail freight terminal will put us in a strong position when the situation improves.

"In particular, it will help us to attract supply chain development related to the new Jaguar Land Rover plant in Wolverhampton."

JG Russell refused to comment. The authority said four potential operators had expressed an interest in the 24-acre site.

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