An agreement to move forward with the land purchase and development of plots and access at a multi-million pound business park in Staffordshire is set to be approved next week.
Plans to extend i54 South Staffordshire to the west of the current site on the county border with Wolverhampton were announced early this year.
Now the award-winning council partnership which delivered i54 is looking to formalise the agreement to ensure work can begin on site as soon as possible, subject to planning application approval next week.
Staffordshire County Council and City of Wolverhampton Council will work together on the extension development. The partnership also includes South Staffordshire Council.
It is estimated that the extension could generate more than 1,700 jobs and lever in up to £300 million of private investment. When the extended site is fully built and occupied, it could release up to £3 million a year in business rates – around half of which could be reinvested in funding public services. The extension would create around 1.8 million square feet of new commercial business floor space.
Plans for the western extension were announced in February this year and plans submitted to South Staffordshire Council in the spring.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Jobs and Growth, said: “i54 South Staffordshire has been a resounding success and our local government partnership has been recognised nationally for its achievements.
“The site has attracted global sector leaders, bringing in thousands of skilled jobs and is almost at full occupancy. Its connectivity is a major attraction with the access we created straight off the M54, opening it up to the wider motorway network with ease.
“We know there is high demand for businesses to locate here and that is why we have taken the decision to expand the site. We anticipate the western extension could generate up to 1,700 jobs and lever in up to £300million in private investment. A fully occupied site could release total business rates of up to £3million a year, with around half of this reinvested to help fund public services.
“Subject to planning approval we now want to move ahead with securing funding, agreeing development of the plots and construction of a new access road to the site.
“i54 South Staffordshire will continue to play a vital part in the Midlands Engine and in the growing productivity of Staffordshire and our neighbours.”
More than £1 billion has so far been invested in i54, with 2,500 people employed by multi-national companies JLR, Moog, ISP, Eurofins, ERA and Tentec with a further 2,100 jobs anticipated over the next few years.
More than 3,500 students have also benefitted from a targeted skills and education programme.
The i54 South Staffordshire progress report will be discussed at the meeting of the county council’s cabinet on Wednesday, January 16th.