£12M secured for West Midlands projects

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Board have approved £12.075m for the first eight projects to be ‘unlocked’ through the Growing Places Fund.

Featuring locations in Aston, Cannock Chase, Edgbaston, Erdington, Kidderminster, Solihull and Uttoxeter, the successful bids will help bring stalled infrastructure projects back to life, creating nearly 7200 jobs when all phases are completed.

More than £85m of private sector investment will be leveraged as a result of this commitment, which will also create 1000s of new homes, hotels, high quality office space and a potential new business park.

The approved projects, subject to conditions and due diligence, include:

  • East Aston Reinvestment Site
  • Dove Way (Uttoxeter)
  • Gallan Park (Cannock)
  • Hoobrook Link Road (Kidderminster)
  • Icknield Port Loop (Edgbaston)
  • Lyndhurst Estate (Erdington)
  • Mill Green (Cannock)
  • North Arran Way (Solihull)

Paul Heaven, GBSLEP Board Member and founder of Blue Sky Corporate Finance, commented:

“From receiving the green light on the Growing Places Fund only a few months ago, we have been able to approve eight projects that are going to deliver major benefits to people living in the LEP area.

“There are some high-profile locations in the first tranche, including the British Sugar site, a key employment site on East Aston RIS, a village centre redevelopment in Solihull and a major employment land opportunity in Cannock.”

He continued: “It will kick-start, invest and recycle capital funds for all partners from across the LEP geography.”

The eight successful projects account for £12.075m of the initial £15.2m funding, with the remaining allocation added to the recent £5.5m injection promised by the Government in the Budget.

This means more than £8m will be available for interested parties to apply for when the second round of applications are opened in August/September of this year.

Paul went on to add: “The additional Growing Places funding will give us the opportunity to take the shackles off even more projects and help deliver crucial infrastructure improvements, such as building access roads, demolition of derelict buildings, installing essential services and the remediation of land." For further information visit www.gbslep.com 


Project: Dove Way

Background: New highway layout and access is needed to open up a strategic brownfield employment site on land to the east of the Dove Way Bypass in Uttoxeter. It will also facilitate access to an adjacent residential site.

Local Authority: East Staffordshire Borough Council

Growing Places: £750,000

What will it do? Provision of a new roundabout, access road to serve employment and residential and remediation of the Council owned employment site.

Benefits: By opening up the site, it will create up to 540 jobs, 56 homes and 17,428m2 commercial floor space.


Project: Gallan Park

Background: A ‘shovel ready’ mixed-use development of which Phase 1 has been completed.

Local authority: Cannock Chase Council

Growing Places: £750,000 (50% of the total £1.5m project cost, the other 50% being sought from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP)

What will it do: Funding will deliver Phase 2 of the project, which includes a 60-bed Travelodge, 9000 sq ft retail and the opening up of a further 7 acres of land for redevelopment.

Benefits: £5m private sector investment will be leveraged as part of the commitment, including the creation of 100 jobs. Longer-term, it will unlock Phases 3 and 4.


Project: Hoobrook Link Road

Background: 24 hectares of key development land for new homes and businesses on the former British Sugar site.

Local Authority: Wyre Forest District Council

Growing Places Funding: £1.25m (50% of total £2.5m bid, the other 50% supported through Worcester Local Enterprise Partnership).

What will it do? Construction of a new link road to unlock the site and implementation of essential services.

Benefits? The overall project will deliver 250 new homes, 196,000 sq ft commercial floor space and the creation of 434 jobs.


Project: Icknield Port Loop

Background: High profile Birmingham regeneration scheme that faltered as the economy collapsed.

Local Authority: Birmingham City Council

Growing Places Fund: £500,000

What will it do? Demolish Ladywood Arts and Leisure Centre, prepare site and redirect essential services for redevelopment as a mixed-use scheme.

Benefits: Immediate results will be the construction of 225 houses, a new hotel and retail units with the creation of 200 jobs.

Once completed, the regeneration project will deliver 1000 new mixed tenure homes, 800 new jobs, over £15m of new infrastructure and leisure facilities and business units.

The Gross Development Value of the scheme is estimated to be £157m.


Project: Lyndhurst Estate

Background: Regeneration of the Lyndhurst Estate through the physical transformation of retained housing stock and cleared development land.

Local Authority: Birmingham City Council

Growing Places Fund: £1m

What will it do? Contribution to remediate site conditions in the early phase of redevelopment, including demolition of the former school. It will also facilitate the provision of relocated public open space and park.

Benefits: Overall, it will deliver 316 new homes (a mix of open market, homes for sale and affordable housing),  £12.4m in leveraged private investment, 3.5 hectares public open space, new park and play facilities and support hundreds of construction jobs. Gross Development Value exceeds £33m.


Project: Mill Green

Background: Stalled employment site that requires funding to unlock its development potential.


Local Authority: Cannock Chase Council

Growing Places Fund: £1.78m (50% of total project £3.56m cost, the other 50% being sought from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP)

What will it do? Complete extensive infrastructure and servicing works to unlock a high quality employment site.

Benefits: Initially, it will deliver 18.8 acres of serviced development land and create 70 construction jobs. The wider project will deliver a 19,500 sq m business park, plus a hotel, restaurant and a nursery.

The whole scheme will generate some 1200 full time jobs and 650 construction jobs, and is expected to leverage nearly £34m of private investment.


Project: North Arran Way

Background: Retail and office scheme that is part of a wider village centre redevelopment project providing infrastructure, public realm, health and education facilities.

Local Authority: Solihull MBC

Growing Places Fund: £4.045m

What will it do? Provision of a new 2-storey development of ground floor retail units and office space to accommodate 150 staff – will also be used for community and extended purposes.

It will also involve 1.2 hectares of renewed brownfield land, ensure 6 traders are housed in new premises and two businesses brought to the area.

Benefits: Enhanced employment opportunities for local people and third sector access to facilities.

The project is part of the overall Village Centre Scheme, which will result in 200 jobs created/safeguarded, 2.1 hectares of brownfield renewal, improved transport links and the centralisation of a previously fragmented village.