Largest UK logistics hub planned in Midlands
A 734-acre site near Birmingham is to be developed into the UK’s largest logistics logistics hub, complete with its own rail freight terminal called the West Midlands Interchange.
The news comes just a month after a CBRE report said that over the next five years, 135 million square metres of additional logistics space dedicated to e-commerce will be needed globally to support $1.5 trillion rise in e-tail.
The 8 million square feet central England site has been acquired in a joint venture between Oxford Properties Group and Logistics Capital Partners (LCP). The pair will jointly invest around £1 billion to bring forward the project over several years, with Oxford providing the majority of capital, working alongside LCP as the development manager.
It will become a technologically-advanced and environmentally sustainable development which meets modern occupiers’ efficient operational and environmental requirements, they said in a joint statement.
Infrastructure works are expected to commence in the first half of next year with the first buildings starting on site in 2022 ready for occupation in 2023. The site can accommodate new warehouses ranging in size from 200,000 square feet to over 1 million square feet, with building heights up to 30 metres.
“This scale and flexibility will create space for some of the most efficient operations in the country, maximising cubic storage capacity and the possibility for occupiers to deploy the latest technology”, the statement added.
West Midlands Interchange, situated in what’s regarded as a key West Midlands logistics corridor, “will deliver significant economic benefit to the region through the creation of 8,500 jobs and a further 8,100 indirect jobs”.
It’s also expected to generate around £430 million of local economic activity each year, and, through the supply chain, create over £900 million of economic activity each year nationally.
As part of wider infrastructure improvements, Oxford and LCP will build a new link road to connect the A5 and A449, "enhancing the resilience of the local road network to improve access to the site and achieve additional public benefit".
It will also include a new Strategic Rail Freight Interchange, giving the site a “significant competitive advantage, with rail transport a cheaper and more environmentally sustainable option while also reducing congestion on the roads", they noted.
Sustainability also sits at the heart of the site’s masterplan, which includes the creation and maintenance of two new country parks of a combined 109 acres that will provide new managed biodiverse habitats across the development, 36% of which will comprise green infrastructure. Warehouse roofs will be built to accommodate installation of photovoltaic panels, enabling the generation of renewable energy.
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