I am urging the Government to finally ‘heal the scars’ of Longbridge by investing in plans to complete the regeneration of the former MG Rover site.
I've been working with developer St Modwen and Northfield MP Gary Sambrook to get the former MG Rover ‘West Works’ regenerated. The site would be the final major piece of the old Longbridge plant to be reclaimed, 15 years after the collapse of the carmaker.
Longbridge has a strong business case to be a critical site for Government support through the Urban Transformation Fund.
That’s why I submitted Longbridge to Government as one of our region’s top funding bids and it is why Gary Sambrook passionately pitched it to the Chancellor in a recent Commons debate on the Spending Review.
For 15 years, local people have waited to see this site fully reclaimed. As we face the challenges of a new downturn caused by the pandemic, this investment offers an opportunity to heal the scars of the MG Rover collapse, which remains one of the darkest days in our economic history.
St Modwen has spearheaded the £1 billion regeneration of the Longbridge site, which aims to provide 9000 new jobs and 4000 new homes.
So far, the rebirth of Longbridge has included a £70 million town centre, over a million square feet of commercial floor space and more than 1,000 homes.
The site also includes medical accommodation for the Ministry of Defence, and a 260-apartment retirement village, the 60,000 sq ft Longbridge Technology Park and the £66 million Bournville College.
St Modwen continues to unveil new developments, most recently receiving planning permission for 56 apartments in Longbridge Town Centre.
The new development would be a 45-acre employment led, mixed-use Regional Investment Site. St Modwen says the development offers an ideal environment that meets the needs of fast-growing hi-tech, life sciences, manufacturing and R&D companies.
A residential development area is also included in the site.
Government backing to finally reclaim the West Works site would send a powerful message about the region’s future. Longbridge may, sadly, never produce another car – but the site can produce quality new jobs for local people.
This derelict site – which has been levelled for years – could provide a tangible example of ‘levelling up’ in action, and illustrate the West Midlands ability to bounce back from adversity.