St Modwen Properties PLC in partnership with Advantage West Midlands (AWM) today began the development of the 40-acre Longbridge Technology Park, Birmingham , launching a £15 million first pahse – the initial step in the long-term strategy to regenerate 342 acres of the former MG Rover works.
The start on the technology park venture, which will be at the heart of the Central Technology Belt stretching from Birmingham out to Malvern, was witnessed by Anthony Glossop, chairman of St Modwen, and John Edwards, chief executive of AWM.
The first phase comprises two landmark buildings which are scheduled for completion next April.The Innovation Centre, a 45,000 sq ft building prominently sited on the corner of the A38 and Longbridge Lane, will provide serviced accommodation from 250 sq ft for start-up technology based businesses.
The second building of 35,000 sq ft, fronting the A38, is designed to provide grow-on space for companies wanting to expand and requiring accommodation of 4,000 sq ft or more. Anthony Glossop said: “This is an exciting scheme giving Longbridge the opportunity to contribute to Birmingham’s need to provide space for tomorrow’s businesses. It also shows St Modwen’s commitment to the future of Longbridge and our aim to create up to 10,000 new jobs and a new heart for the area following the demise of MG Rover.
“We have a track record of developing and operating specialist buildings for new and growing high technology businesses in other parts of the country such as Cranfield University in Bedfordshire.”
John Edwards said: “Longbridge forms a key part of our plans for the Central Technology Belt which encourages the development of high technology industries along the A38 between Aston Science Park and Malvern. We are delighted to reach the stage where we can now start work in earnest on the site. Real progress is being made at a number of sites in the corridor.
“High technology is the future for this part of the Longbridge site and, subject to planning permisison, we look forward to continuing to work with St Modwen on this exciting scheme.”
* An Area Action Plan designed to provide a strategic overview for the future of 342-acres of the former MG Rover site and surrounding area, largely owned by St Modwen, is being put together by Birmingham City Council and Bromsgrove District Council in conjunction with St Modwen and AWM. The public consultation process on the Area Action Plan is already underway and will continue throughout the summer.
For further information contact Mike Murray of St Modwen (0121 222 9400). Issued by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (0121 236 7771) and Mat Danks of Advantage West Midlands (0121 503 3228)