The long-running transformation of Londbridge has received another boost after the West Midlands received £24 million in funding for brownfield regeneration.
The Government has granted the capital from a £40million award out of its Urban Transformation Fund which is distributed nationally
Although final allocation of the money is subject to agreement by West Midlands Combined Authority, it is expected the lion’s share will be used to redevelop part of the former MG Rover factory site.
The 75-acre plot is now a patch of brownfield land but once housed the ‘West Works’ area of the vast MG Rover factory in the south Birmingham town, prior to its collapse in 2005.
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It is one of largest remaining parts of the former car factory still to be redeveloped and is now expected to house around one million sq ft of commercial space alongside residential accommodation.
Local MP for Northfield Gary Sambrook said: “I am delighted we have succeeded in winning this funding for the area.
“Completing the regeneration of Longbridge has been my top priority since becoming an MP a year ago.
“Now, more than ever, it is vital that this site is brought back to full use again – creating and sustaining good quality jobs for people.”
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street added: “As someone who grew up in Northfield, I understand what a huge blow the loss of Rover was and what a huge wound it has left.
“It’s why I’ve been determined as mayor to get the whole site redeveloped and supporting decent jobs again.
“This is a great example of how we are able to work together – local campaigning, regional backing, government support and private sector investment.
“We are bringing this approach to projects across the region but this is a really important one to me personally.
“With this funding bid won, I look forward to Longbridge formally receiving their share and the go ahead.”
Birmingham-based regeneration group St Modwen is leading the long-running redevelopment of Longbride which in recent years has seen a new Bournville College, Sainsbury’s, offices, housing and shops open.
Rob Flavell, senior director of Midlands regeneration at St Modwen, said: “Funding for West Works is a major step in the regeneration of Longbridge.
“Progressing the site infrastructure will unlock 5,000 new jobs, 350 new homes and 25 acres of fabulous public realm along the River Rea.
“This investment highlights the importance of Longbridge to deliver major economic outputs and as a sought-after location with beautiful green spaces, fantastic access to transport routes and a vibrant and bustling town centre location.”