A new £6 million funding package has been agreed which will see 75 acres of land redeveloped at the former MG Rover plant in Birmingham.
The ‘West Works’ site in Longbridge is the last remaining plot of the giant former car factory to be redeveloped in the long-running regeneration of the town which has already seen a new hotel, college, shops, offices and houses built.
The brownfield land, opposite Longbridge Technology Park next to the A38, is one of largest remaining parts still to be redeveloped and could eventually house around 350 homes.
Other plans include 27 acres of green space and 900,000 sq ft of commercial accommodation to be known as Longbridge Business Park. It is expected that up to 5,000 jobs could be created.
This latest injection of capital from the West Midlands Combined Authority will enable developer St Modwen, which is leading the regeneration, to remediate the land, provide essential infrastructure and make it ready for construction.
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It follows the authority securing £51 million in government funding last year to put towards brownfield regeneration across the region.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “The closure of Longbridge’s MG Rover Plant in 2005 was one of the darkest days in the history of the West Midlands.
“Having spent some time growing up in Northfield, I know just how iconic the site is and I know that for 15 years now people have waited for its regeneration to finally heal one of our biggest, and most painful, economic scars.
“That is why I am delighted the combined authority has been able to step in and help unlock this major part of the site for development.
“Over the past four years, one of the real strengths of the West Midlands has been using government money to clean up derelict industrial land to pave the way for development and industrial land doesn’t come much bigger or more iconic than the Longbridge West Works.
“Now, instead of looking back over 15 years of pain, we can look forward to the thousands of new jobs, commercial premises and hundreds of homes that will be coming to Longbridge.”
St Modwen’s chief executive Sarwjit Sambhi added: “Unlocking West Works is a huge milestone for Longbridge and we are delighted to move forward in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority.
“We’re already seeing strong interest from occupiers in Longbridge Business Park and this contribution will ultimately lever in up to £300 million in private sector investment at West Works.
“This investment highlights the major contribution Longbridge is making to Birmingham and West Midlands.”
The investment into West Works comes just weeks after the combined authority approved a £780,000 investment for St Modwen’s scheme on another part of the Longbridge site at 2 Park Square.
This involves more than 60,000 sq ft of commercial office space, creating 400 new jobs.