£2 billion has been pledged to a major industrial development expansion in the West Midlands over the next 10 years, potentially creating thousands of new jobs.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has selected industrial property developer SEGRO to be its strategic partner in a long-term development programme that will see eight new industrial clusters brought to the region.
Inside the deal: The decade-long investment will see SEGRO and its suppliers deliver 13.5 million sq ft of new warehouse space across brownfield sites in the West Midlands by the end of 2033.
The net-zero facilities will be geared towards tech-enabled logistics, Research and Development (R&D), and light manufacturing.
Up to 2,700 electric vehicle (EV) charging points and associated infrastructure will be installed across the region.
UK Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) SEGRO said it will “limit operational and embodied emissions so far as is feasible on each project”, as part of the region’s target to be net zero by 2041.
Planning permission has already been granted for SEGRO Park Coventry, a 450-acre site that will see the construction of 3.7 million sq ft of industrial buildings and warehouses.
Economic impact and social value
The programme is expected to create up to 14,000 jobs, including in construction, while supporting the WMCA’s devolution, innovation and levelling up objectives.
It follows WMCA securing a Deeper Devolution Deal with central government in March.
Skills and training programmes will be devised, supporting 5,000 local youngsters into employment, including 1,000 apprenticeships in construction.
Up to 1,500 disadvantaged residents in the region will also benefit from an industrial and logistics training and jobs programme, created by SEGRO.
Logistics and distribution are among the region’s key industries, with a high concentration of haulage firms along the M5 and M6 in Birmingham and Sandwell and between Leicester and Nottingham along the M1 – also known as the so-called ‘golden triangle’.
“By working closely with the West Midlands Combined Authority we can identify and unlock brownfield sites for development and deliver critical infrastructure that serves the whole of the UK, creating a diverse mix of local employment and supporting the creation of a more resilient economy across the country,” said SEGRO CEO, David Sleath.
West Midlands mayor, Andy Street, added: “SEGRO’s investment programme will help regenerate long neglected areas right across our region – building just the sort of modern premises that companies need to grow – creating high quality jobs for local people in the process. These next generation developments will also support our region’s #WM2041 net zero commitment.”
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