Work to develop a Staffordshire business site reaches a major milestone with the opening of an improved road and replacement rail bridge this week.
The first vehicles will travel onto the improved Burton Old Road in Lichfield, which now forms the access to the Lichfield Trent Valley station car park and the Liberty Park development. It was the first business development project backed by the Government’s Growth Deal funding to get under way in Staffordshire, following a successful bid from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and is the first to have its infrastructure work completed.
Groundworks and the access developments – including a new rail bridge over the West Coast Mainline – are now finished. The work was carried out by Staffordshire County Council with additional financial contributions from Liberty and will pave the way for construction of new industrial and warehouse units by Liberty Property Trust and its partner Stoford Developments. The industrial and warehouse development will create much-needed jobs in the area.
The highway improvements carried out by the county council received a £4million allocation from the Government’s Local Growth Fund. It forms part of a package of major projects as part of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Deal being delivered by the area’s local enterprise partnership. Work involved replacing a bridge over the railway. The old bridge was demolished overnight on Christmas Day 2014 before being replaced in the summer and 12 concrete beams were put in place to provide the new bridge deck in July. Burton Old Road has also undergone major improvements.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost CBE said: “We are delighted with the rapid progress on this showpiece project, which has got our Growth Deal plans off to a flying start.
“It is very gratifying to see our ambitions for economic growth turning into reality on the ground and creating more and better jobs, benefitting local communities. Projects such as Liberty Park illustrate our can-do attitude and show that our region is very much open for business.”
Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader Mark Winnington said: “It is pleasing to see the infrastructure work to help to support Liberty Park completed and we look forward to seeing the on site development get under way. This is one of our flagship developments and is significant to us because it is the first completed Growth Deal project. Improving this infrastructure is a real milestone as it means Liberty and Stoford can get on with the business development and continue to market the site. It has been a considerable achievement and involved meticulous planning to ensure the bridge was replaced on time. Together with our partners we are demonstrating how we’re delivering major projects which boost economic growth and job creation locally. This sends a strong positive message to the Government and potential investors.”
Andrew Blevins, managing director, Liberty Property Trust said: “Liberty Park, Lichfield, is an important example of Staffordshire County Council working with the property industry to enable commercial development and jobs to come to Lichfield.
“The improved public infrastructure which has now opened up the development site was jointly funded by Government and Liberty Property Trust. Since the development was launched in March this year, it has already attracted interest from potential occupiers well placed to create jobs and economic growth for the region.”