News that the biggest derelict site in Walsall is set to be regenerated after 20 years shows that the region’s recovery from the COVID pandemic is already underway.
Once home to the James Bridge Copper Works, the 44-acre site ‘Phoenix 10’ in Walsall has been derelict for over two decades.
Now, it’s set to become a centre for enterprise once again with up to 620,000 sq. ft. of employment space, attracting new jobs and investment to the region.
I have welcomed the news that property developer HBD has exchanged contracts with Walsall Council and Homes England on the massive regeneration scheme.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, the West Midlands economy was making great progress with the region seen as one of the best places in the UK to invest in jobs and housing.
The last few months have been tough, but we are working hard to ensure that we will rebuild from this pandemic stronger than ever – getting our local economy back on track.
The appointment of HBD to construct Phoenix 10 is a huge step forward. It shows that our recovery is already underway - and that market confidence in the West Midlands remains strong.
For 20 years local residents, visitors and drivers on the M6 have looked at this site and have seen a symbol of stagnation and dereliction. This is a great example of the kind of land reclamation that we are seeing across the Black Country - creating new homes and business sites, helping to create new jobs and protecting the green belt.
The site is the largest undeveloped brownfield plot in the Black Country. Its location will be a big draw for occupiers - visible from the M6 and accessed via Junction 9, it’s one of the region’s most well-located sites.
A public consultation is now taking place via an online exhibition, where further information about the proposals can be viewed and residents can provide feedback.
If plans are approved, land remediation would begin next year, construction would start in 2023 and the aim is for the site to open for business in 2027.
Councillor Adrian Andrew, deputy leader of Walsall Council and portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “This is the beginning of a new and exciting phase for this vital ongoing project that is a big piece in our jigsaw to regenerate our borough and strengthen our economy.”