The first occupier on the new i54 South Staffordshire 60-acre western extension has been unveiled as major international company Fortune Brands Innovations.
The multi-brand company, based in Chicago, is building a 270,000sqft tech-enhanced facility at the Midlands business park to support the group’s luxury ceramics and brassware brands within the kitchen and bathroom industry.
i54 sits on the county border with Wolverhampton and Fortune Brands’ investment is expected to bring to the area 250 permanent jobs over the first year of operation, including training opportunities for apprentices and graduates.
The new state-of-the-art manufacturing centre of excellence is due to be operational as the company’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) headquarters by the end of the year and will include a customer experience centre and training facility.
The current i54 business park, developed by City of Wolverhampton Council, Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council, is occupied by multi-national businesses including Jaguar Land Rover, Moog, ISP and Eurofins.
Following investment of more than £1billion, it hosts a workforce of around 2,700 people, with half of the jobs held by people living within a 10-mile radius.
Fortune Brands Innovations general manager Steve Geary said:
This investment reflects our continued commitment to the luxury ceramics and brassware sectors and we are hugely excited about the project. This new facility will allow us to both better service our customers and facilitate future growth.
Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said:
Fortune Brands Innovations’ arrival at the i54 South Staffordshire western extension is fantastic news for our county and Wolverhampton.
As the first business on the western extension site this is a real milestone and testament to the continued strong partnership between the county council, City of Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire councils and our success in attracting investment and jobs to our area. There is a great deal of interest in the remaining plots so we anticipate further announcements soon.
This will create a range of employment opportunities and skills development – which is demonstrating the delivery on our long-term economic plan. We look forward to the company becoming fully operational and welcome them to i54 South Staffordshire.
City of Wolverhampton Council deputy leader and cabinet member for inclusive city economy Stephen Simkins said:
I am delighted to welcome Fortune Brands Innovations to i54. They are a major multi-national brand that will sit perfectly alongside our other high-calibre employers on what is one of the most successful business parks in the UK.
Wolverhampton is the city of opportunity and, working with our partners Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire, the western extension has galvanised the reputation of i54 as a regional, national and international strategic site and centre of excellence for advanced manufacturing.
Most importantly, Fortune Brands Innovations’ arrival will deliver further good-quality jobs and skills opportunities for our residents and boost economic growth.
South Staffordshire Council deputy leader Victoria Wilson said:
As a council we work hard to attract business investment to our district and our partnership with the county council and the City of Wolverhampton Council has been invaluable in what we have collectively achieved at i54 South Staffordshire.
We welcome Fortune Brands Innovations to i54 South Staffordshire as the latest business on site and all it will bring – this is a huge development on the western extension site. This means more opportunities in terms of future employment, skills development and supply businesses in the district.
The remaining 25 acres of the i54 western extension is available to an end user for advanced manufacturing, technology, training and innovation.
The site offers fully serviced development platforms capable of accommodating up to 46,000sqm / 500,000sqft of B1 and B2 floorspace. The i54 management team is marketing the final plot on the western extension. Businesses and developers can find out more at www.i54online.com