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UK’s third largest independent builder merchant firm to expand in Longbridge

Builders¹ merchant E H Smith has invested in the regeneration of Longbridge through the acquisition from St Modwen Properties, the UK¹s leading regeneration specialist, of the former MG Sports and Racing Building at the Cofton Centre, Longbridge.

The 20,715 sq ft premises enables the Birmingham-based family firm – the UK¹s third largest independent builders¹ merchant – to expand and take on up to 20 new staff. The new EH Smith branch in Longbridge – the company¹s 11th operating location – is set to open next Spring to supply a wide range of building materials and services to the surrounding area.

The transaction follows the successful sale by St Modwen of the adjoining 157,000 sq ft former MG Rover parts distribution warehouse to PRG Europe which is currently fitting out the building.

John Parker, managing director for E H Smith, which was established 85 years ago and now employs more than 600 people, said: ³EH Smith is delighted to be setting down roots in Longbridge and looks forward to becoming part of the community. The company fully embraces the growth and regeneration of the Longbridge area, wishing to play a part in the investment of this up-and-coming part of Birmingham.²

Phil Yates, the company¹s regional director, commented: ³This is an exciting time for EH Smith, further investing in the city that has been its home for so long. With the ongoing rejuvenation of the area, the community of Longbridge has a terrific future with many opportunities.²

Jonathan Green, development surveyor, St Modwen, said: ³We are delighted with this sale which further endorses the growing appeal of Longbridge to companies wishing to relocate and expand.

³Work has now started on St Modwen¹s first phase of new development on the Cofton Centre with the construction of two new units, of 47,502 sq ft and 27,072 sq ft, available for purchase or to let, which will be completed late next Spring. Already there is a strong level of interest from a number of occupiers.²

This phase of development will create the potential for an additional 300 jobs and it is anticipated that the Cofton Centre, when complete, will provide more than 1,200 jobs.

GVA Grimley, letting agent for the scheme, acted for St Modwen in the sale to EH Smith, who were unrepresented.


For further information contact Jonathan Green of St Modwen (0121 222 9400) or Mark Mallinder of EH Smith (0121 765 3745). Issued by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (0121 313 1000).