Black Country industrial development could create 500 jobs

A new collaboration between the private sector and a local authority in the Black Country for a 22-acre industrial and distribution development could create up to 500 jobs in Wednesbury.

Sandwell Council has joined forces with the private sector in a new collaboration that could bring 500 new jobs to the area.

The Council and the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership have joined forces with the St Francis Group in the innovative scheme.

The new set-up is designed to fast-track the scheme and it means up to 500 new jobs could be created over a three year period.

The development – on a nine hectares site called Opus Blueprint – will be funded by £2,500,000 from Growing Places Funding.

The site, next to Junction 9 of the M6 at Wednesbury, has already obtained outline planning consent.

The scheme will be carried out by St Francis Group and their development partners Opus Land.

St Francis Group has a proven track record in delivering regeneration across brown field sites through site management and development. Opus Land is active in both the development and investment field.

Rob Baird, Director for St. Francis Group, believes that there are mutual benefits for all partners involved.

He said: “Sandwell Council and Black Country LEP have taken an intelligent approach to attracting businesses to the borough by working with the private sector to provide finance to enable St Francis Group to bring forward Opus Blueprint employment site.”

Sandwell Council cabinet members for jobs and economy Councillor Ian Jones said: “Sandwell offers existing occupiers wishing to expand, or businesses from outside the area looking for suitable new locations, a chance to move to an area with a strong manufacturing tradition, existing supply chains and employment support”.

“We want to encourage companies to take advantage of the great working environment and the skilled, young workforce available in Sandwell.”

Simon Eastwood of The Black Country LEP announced “the funding will be allocated to address key obstacles that have stalled development relating to infrastructure and access constraints. St Francis group will repay the loan on completion of the development allowing the funds to be recycling for other projects within the Black Country. Schemes such as housing and commercial developments that will help create jobs will be considered by the BC LEP for their share of the funding”

Further information on available finance for business please call Peter Martin, Sandwell Council on 0121 569 3265 or .