Next stage of Wolverhampton's i54 expansion approved by council
Economy bosses in Wolverhampton have given their full approval to £22.75 million funding for the next two stages of the i54 expansion.
It is hoped the development of the Western Extension site next, behind Jaguar Land Rover's engine factory, will create 1,700 new jobs for the city and surrounding area.
Wolverhampton Council cabinet members this week gave full backing to phases four and five of the development next to the M54 motorway, which will provide 100 acres of industrial employment floor space on land to the west of the existing i54 estate.
The latest stage of the development will occupy land north of Wobaston Road between Pendeford Hall Lane and the i54 site.
Councillor Harman Banger, the council’s cabinet member for city economy, said: “I am really pleased to welcome this.
"It is great news for the city, especially as it will provide a huge boost to the economy and create an estimated 1,700 new jobs for local people.
“This is a joint venture with the other local authorities and we are proud to be a major part of it.
"We have signed an initial 25-year agreement and look forward to the entire i54 business development project coming to completion.”
Wolverhampton Council leader and cabinet chairman, Councillor Ian Brookfield, said: "This is absolutely fantastic news for the city and will provide a significant boost to the local economy and community.
“We will have control and ownership and the business rates will pay back any funds borrowed.
" The beauty of it is it means 1,700 new jobs for local people and a wealth of construction opportunities for the future.”
The council’s cabinet approved a funding strategy and and budget for the first three phases of the development in January this year, with site clearance and work on the Access Road and Services Corridor section beginning in June.
“Studies undertaken by the council showed that we have a serious shortage of sites suitable for large-scale manufactures in this region,” said Councillor Banger.
“The land to the west of the i54 has both the scale and accessibility to meet the demand for such sites. The next part of the contract is due to begin in June 2020.
“This will see a number of large areas of land ready for development and disposal from late 2021 onwards.”
The i54 strategic employment site is already home to Jaguar Land Rover’s new Engine Manufacturing Centre , Moog, ISP, Eurofins, ERA Home Security and Atlas Copco.
Some 2,700 people are employed across the current businesses and it is envisaged that once completed in the coming years, i54 will have provided some 4,600 jobs in total and will have attracted over £1.1 billion of private investment.