Work has started on the latest development at a Staffordshire business park which will site up to 1,300 jobs and forms part of a high growth zone near the M54.
Midlands developer First Panattoni has begun its 450,000 sq ft speculative unit at the Four Ashes Business Park in South Staffordshire which means the site is now fully occupied.
The industrial facility, to be known as Wolverhampton 450, is set to be completed in October this year and will create up to 500 jobs.
Four Ashes is already home to leading automotive parts supplier Gestamp, which started operations on site last year. Sited off the A449, the 52-acre Four Ashes site provides 900,000 sq ft industrial floor space and forms part of the Wolverhampton Staffordshire High Growth Zone, which was launched at the MIPIM international property event in March.
Staffordshire County Council carried out the essential access works for Four Ashes, paving the way for new business and jobs. The project was funded by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, including a £1.9million allocation from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.
It included the creation of a traffic signalled junction on the A449. In addition, new pedestrian crossings were installed and pedestrian and cycle routes improved.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost CBE said: “The Four Ashes development is further proof that Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is proving to be a very attractive location to do business. Our can-do attitude and strong partnerships across the public and private sectors are opening up development opportunities and creating a welcoming environment that enables businesses to grow and flourish.
“The availability of great sites such as Four Ashes, our central location, good transport links and skilled workforce are proving a strong combination in attracting and retaining businesses.”
County council finance leader Councillor Mike Sutherland, who met the developers at Four Ashes Business Park, said: “First Panattoni’s development getting under way is further demonstration of investor confidence in Staffordshire and of the county’s continued successful economic growth.
“The county council, working with the Local Enterprise Partnership, delivered the essential access infrastructure to Four Ashes Business Park which paved the way for development. We have a global sector leader with Gestamp operational and this latest development will see the site full.
“Four Ashes is just one of the sites the county council has been involved with since 2014 where there has been £400million of completed, ongoing and planned investment – ultimately leading to the creation of up to 13,000 jobs. This is more good news for Staffordshire and demonstrates that we are very much open for business.”
Simon Jenkins, development director at First Panattoni, said: “We have gained confidence from the level of occupier interest in this region and our work developing Wolverhampton 450 will allow us to meet this demand.
“Wolverhampton 450 represents the first of the company’s spec build programme for 2018 and our commitment to delivering exceptional units at key locations will be only further demonstrated as the year continues.”
Photograph courtesy of First Panattoni