Plans for a major business park expansion which could attract £600 million of private investment and create 2,700 jobs have been lodged.
The i54 estate near Wolverhampton is already home to major manufacturers such as luxury car marque Jaguar Land Rover and component maker Moog but council chiefs are now pressing ahead with the next phase of development.
Plans have been submitted to South Staffordshire District Council for the ‘western extension’ regeneration of land close to junction two of the M54.
More than £1 billion has so far been invested in the i54 site, with 2,500 people employed by multi-national companies such as Black Country printing firm ISP, food tester Eurofins and security hardware group ERA with a further 2,100 jobs anticipated over the next few years.
The new extension, which was first revealed in Febraury, will tap into the infrastructure and motorway access already created for the original i54 site therefore traffic routes will not be impacted by any new development.
A new access road will also be built between the original i54 business park and the extension site.
The project will be developed over two phases with the first focused on 60 acres of land between Wobaston Road, Pendeford Hall Lane and the current i54 site.
The remaining 40 acres of land, currently owned by Severn Trent’s property vehicle Midlands Land Portfolio, will be part of a separate application at a later date.
Staffordshire County Council leader Coun Philip Atkins said: “The success of i54 South Staffordshire has been outstanding – attracting global leaders in their sectors and thousands of skilled jobs.
“From construction firms to supply chain industries and retail and leisure establishments, this business park leads to a thriving local, regional and national economy and all the opportunities that brings for local business and people.
“We are proud of how the local government partnership worked together to achieve this and we have been rightly recognised by government and the business community.
“It is therefore no surprise about the demand to locate here and the subsequent need for expansion.
“i54 South Staffordshire will play a vital part in the Midlands Engine and in the growing productivity of Staffordshire and our neighbours.”
Coun John Reynolds, cabinet member for economy at City of Wolverhampton Council, added: “Our joint investment at i54 has secured hundreds of millions of pounds of further investment and has brought thousands of jobs to the area, with 40 per cent of employees living within a ten-mile radius.
“Demand is high for more accommodation from potential investors and the western extension will enable us to deliver that for the benefit of local residents and businesses.”