Good progress is being made as the first important steps are taken to deliver a £20 million West Midlands warehouse and manufacturing development that could create more than 400 jobs, it was announced today.
Birmingham-based developer Stoford has been demolishing existing buildings and undertaking extensive remediation work and ground leveling on the Wednesfield Way site next to Bentley Bridge retail park, near Wolverhampton.
The 18-acre Wednesfield site – known as Pantheon Park – has detailed planning permission for 412,000 sq ft of manufacturing, warehouse and distribution space with 24/7 operations.
The development is a joint venture between Stoford and Bridges Ventures, a specialist sustainable and impact investor. They are in talks with a number of potential occupiers.
Stoford joint managing director Dan Gallagher said: “Pantheon Park is in an excellent location and it is very pleasing to see work begin on demolishing and remediating the site in preparation for construction to begin later this year.
“We are in no doubt that this site will bring enormous benefits to the area when it is fully operational. Pantheon Park represents a rare opportunity for an ambitious logistics or manufacturing company looking to move to the region or expand its existing operations locally to have a high-specification build-to-suit premises on prime industrial land.”
He added: “The site will be ‘oven ready’ and immediately developable from December for occupiers to take units in late 2016.”
Guy Bowden, acquisitions director at Bridges Ventures, said: “By reclaiming this valuable land we can help to meet the clear shortfall in supply of high-quality warehouse space locally, creating hundreds of jobs and hopefully contributing to the regeneration of the area in the process.
He added: “We invest in development projects where there is clear potential to create lasting social and environmental impact. We believe that Pantheon Park can do that for Wednesfield, so we are grateful that the team at City of Wolverhampton Council and the Black Country LEP have been so accommodating in helping us to get this project up and running.
The extensive remediation work is being supported by a loan of over £2 million by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership. LEP chairman Stewart Towe said: “We are delighted to have been able to kick-start this exciting development in Wolverhampton. This highlights our commitment to removing barriers to business growth and supporting investment in the Black Country. I hope that once available the site attracts an occupier who can contribute to the Black Country’s reputation as the home of world class manufacturing and engineering.”
Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “Pantheon Park was recently highlighted at Business Week as one of the many regeneration projects underway in Wolverhampton. It will bring back to life a site that has been redundant for many years. Most importantly it will bring investment and hundreds of jobs to Wolverhampton.”
A number of potential occupiers are in talks with the joint venture partners about taking over buildings at the site, which is ideal for the logistics and manufacturing sectors. Pantheon Park is close to the M6 Toll, M5, M42 and M54 and is situated in an established location off junction 10 of the M6 via the A454.
Pantheon Park has full planning consent for B1, B2 and B8 uses, making it a very attractive prospect to potential occupiers.b The high specification buildings could include a 50-metre service yard, full circulation, 50kN/m2 floor loading, extensive HGV parking, up to 15-metre haunch height and a mix of loading options. There is also space for 231 cars.
Stoford is a leading specialist in warehouse and distribution development. It has delivered over 10 million sq ft of pre-let development and in 2012 to 2014 had more than 1.5 million sq ft of pre-let space under construction throughout the UK.
CAPTION: (from left) Jack Rowley, managing director of CPUK, joins Councillor John Reynolds, and director Dominic Stokes and project manager Noel Hammett, both of Stoford, at the Pantheon Park site near Wolverhampton.