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Heysham Port in tax avoidance row as Link Road challenge goes to court

22nd July, 2013

The Transport Solutions for Lancaster & Morecambe (TSLM) legal challenge to the Heysham-M6 Link is due to commence in court on 22 July. In the meantime, a row has broken out over the tax dealings of Peel Holdings, owners of Heysham Port and the main potential beneficiaries of the massive publicly-funded roadbuilding project.

The current estimated costs of the scheme are moving inexorably toward the £140 million mark, with Lancashire County Council (LCC) committed to meeting all costs above the Government’s limit of £111 million despite facing £300 milllion budget cuts over the next 4 years.

The two main beneficiaries of the scheme were EDF, which originally had plans to build a new power station in Heysham - plans which have since been scrapped - and the Port of Heysham.

Peel Holdings, owners of Heysham Port, will benefit most from the Heysham M6 Link Road, but have declined to contribute a single penny to it. In March 2013 the conglomerate was the subject of a report by Liverpool-based research think-tank Ex Urbe who noted that it has received hundreds of millions of pounds worth of public UK and EU funding over the years.

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