8 July 2020
West Midlands Interchange set to boost local jobs and the economy
Indirect Investment is the primary funder of the proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchange in Staffordshire.
The West Midlands Interchange (WMI), a new Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) in South Staffordshire, is set to become a reality with the promoter Four Ashes Limited (FAL) planning the next stage in its development after it was granted a Development Consent Order (DCO) by the Secretary of State for Transport on 4 May 2020. The DCO decision is now clear of the judicial review period.
Grosvenor’s Indirect Investment business is the primary funder and a shareholder in the Four Ashes Limited partnership
The Four Ashes site will boost economic growth through its location in the M54 Wolverhampton – Staffordshire High Growth Zone. It supports both the Government’s Modern Industrial Strategy and the ambitions of the ‘Midlands Engine’, which together aim to help deliver a high-skilled, competitive economy that benefits people in the West Midlands and throughout the UK.
As well as helping to attract more global business and investment, the scheme will create 8,550 direct jobs. It is expected to generate £427m of local economic activity each year and, through the supply chain, create £912m per annum of economic activity nationally.
A new SRFI is something that has been identified as essential for the future prosperity of South Staffordshire, the Black Country and West Midlands region since 2004, according to the West Midlands Regional Logistics Study. The West Midlands’ strong manufacturing and logistics industrial base is growing, and there is a shortage of suitable quality development land for large scale rail-served logistics warehousing. WMI will deliver fast, reliable transport links to help the region’s businesses compete in national and international markets.
The proposed scheme has been designed to increase the efficiency of freight distribution, taking freight traffic off motorways and trunk roads and onto the rail network. This will also reduce CO2 emissions emitted by freight transport; rail freight produces up to 70% less CO2 and up to 15 times lower noxious emissions than road freight tonne for tonne.
The site is uniquely located for an SRFI in this part of the West Midlands, with the ability to create a new strategic logistics hub in the same way as nearby Hams Hall and Birch Coppice have done in the past. It has the ability to deliver up to 7.8 m sq ft of warehousing, is adjacent to Junction 12 of the M6 and lies directly on the West Coast Main Line. Warehouse footprints in excess of 1.5m sq ft will be possible and building heights of between and 20m and 30m have been approved in the planning consent.
The site will have direct connections to the West Coast Mainline, one of the strategic rail freight routes in the UK that can accommodate the transfer of larger 9’6” freight containers between road and rail.
FAL is currently putting plans in place to approach funders and development teams in order to market the site and start construction as soon as possible. Eastdil Secured has been retained as advisor to FAL on marketing the site.
For more information about WMI, visit www.westmidlandsinterchange.co.uk
About Grosvenor Group
Grosvenor Group is a privately-owned international property company.
With a track record of over 340 years, we develop, manage and invest with a purpose of improving property and places to deliver lasting commercial and social benefit.
This is achieved by adopting a farsighted perspective, by being locally engaged and sharing and benefitting from our international experience – we call this our Living Cities approach.
Through the activities of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Grosvenor Americas, Grosvenor Asia Pacific and Grosvenor Europe we diversify the Group’s property portfolio by geography, sector, activity, currency and management teams. Our Indirect Investment business further diversifies the Group’s property interests by backing specialist third-party management teams. It invests Grosvenor’s capital in Europe, North and South America, Australia and Africa.
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