Work has started on the building of Longbridge Technology Park by St Modwen Developments Ltd on land owned by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.
The 40 acres of land bought two years ago by the Agency from MG Rover and the development of Birmingham’s first technology park will create around 2,500 jobs, comprising around 600,000 sq ft of development comprising research, development and high quality production space.
The scheme also includes plans for a neighbourhood centre with a small food store and ancillary retail units and possibly a nursery and public house.
Proposals have also been submitted for a nanotechnology centre at the heart of the business park.
The site was formerly MG Rover’s North Works, the North Works car park and part of the South Works.
The development links into the Central Technology Belt, a high-technology corridor running along the A38 between Aston Science Park and Malvern Science Park which was identified as a priority for value-added business following the Rover Crisis of 2000.
Anthony Glossop, Chairman of St Modwen Properties Plc, said: “This is an exciting scheme giving Longbridge the opportunity to contribute to Birmingham’s need to provide space for tomorrow’s businesses.
“We are delighted to be associated with Advantage West Midlands in this venture.
“It is fortunate that we are in a position to bring forward this scheme so soon after MG Rover’s administration was announced.
“Whilst it cannot solve the short term issues arising from this event, it will provide a longer term sustainable regeneration of this area of the West Midlands.”
Advantage West Midlands Chief Executive John Edwards said: “The recent situation at Longbridge means this development is even more significant given that the work of the high technology corridors was born out of the recommendations of the last Rover Task Force.
“This development really signifies the future for manufacturing and business – high-value added products and processes that are capable of innovating and dealing with a global marketplace.
“While we are continuing to work with our partners on the MG Rover Task Force to help those affected by the situation at Longbridge, this vital landmark in the work we have been undertaking for some years to diversify our region’s business base and create an economy fit for the 21st century on a global stage.”
Alan Folwell, Chief Executive of the Central Technology Belt, said: “Longbridge Technology Park is a vital site at the heart of the Central Technology Belt.
“By encouraging investments using advanced materials, like the proposed nanotechnology centre, we shall begin to establish a knowledge-led business base which will bring new and sustainable employment to south-west Birmingham.”
Notes to editors
Advantage West Midlands is one of nine Regional Development Agencies in England whose role is to provide leadership and action to create more, better jobs and an improved quality of life for all in the West Midlands.
For more media information or images please contact Mat Danks on 0121 503 3228 or 0791 9887812 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer on 0121 2367771.