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HIGH RATES charged by Sheffield City Council could drive the National Freight Consortium out of the city, NFC chairman Sir Peter Thompson warned last week.
NFC's first all-purpose depot complex, a 1982-built home for Pickfords Removals, BRS Northern, GDS, National Carriers Parcels, and Fleetcare, was destroyed by a major asbestos fire in Sheffield before Christmas.
BRS Northern managing director Ron Fortune is now heading a committee to establish how the complex can be replaced, but Sir Peter told shareholders last week that Sheffield's high rates made it look unattractive for future investment.
Rates of £250,000 in Sheffield are uncompetitive with an enterprise zone five miles away which offers rate-free accommodation for at least seven years.
The fire, which created a potentially very dangerous fall-out of asbestos across parts of Sheffield, has cost the operating companies £70,000 and NFC's captive insurance company another £60,000.