The £100m regeneration of one of the biggest derelict sites in the region has moved forward with the submission of a planning application for the Phoenix 10 development in Walsall.
The 44-acre site, which was once home to the James Bridge Copper Works, has lain derelict for two decades but is earmarked for a major regeneration scheme by property developer HBD.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has already agreed a multi-million pound deal to fund the clean-up of the land and make it ready for the construction of new commercial premises which could eventually house as many as 1,100 new jobs.
Cllr Mike Bird (left), leader of Walsall Council and WMCA portfolio holder for housing and land with Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street at the Phoenix 10 site (photo taken pre-pandemic)
Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, Andy Street, said: “One of the key aims of the WMCA in my time as Mayor has been to clear-up old industrial sites across the Black Country to make way for new housing and commercial schemes - and old industrial sites don’t come much bigger or more iconic than Phoenix 10.
“So I am absolutely delighted that after decades of being one of the region’s most recognisable eyesores, the WMCA has been able to step in and get the ball rolling on its redevelopment, which has today taken a major step forward with the official submission of the plans.
“We may still be in the eye of the Covid storm, but I refuse to let the pandemic knock us off course in our plans to clean up old derelict sites. Not only does the WMCA’s cash help to remediate brownfield land ready for development, but it also helps to create local construction jobs at this difficult economic time, as well as protect precious green belt land across the West Midlands. It is critical work, and we have already secured even more cash from the Government during the pandemic to carry on with our plans.”
HBD has partnered with Walsall Council and Homes England to deliver the project, with the WMCA and Black Country LEP providing funding for the remediation of the site which is expected to begin this year. Construction is expected to start in 2023 with completion in 2027.
The project will deliver up to 620,000 sq. ft. of employment space, attracting new jobs and investment and supporting the creation of a strong regional economy.
Simon Raiye, Director at HBD, said: “This is the largest undeveloped brownfield site in the Black Country and while it is a challenging site, it’s extremely well-located and has huge potential.
“Phoenix 10 will bring a major economic boost to Walsall and the wider region, attracting new business and investment and creating much-needed new jobs. Twenty years is a long time for a site to lie derelict so we’re really looking forward to getting started with remediation works and bringing it back into use.”
Deputy leader of Walsall Council, Cllr Adrian Andrew, added: “I’m delighted that progress is being made on this project. We have a number of significant projects in the pipeline in Walsall, which gives me confidence in the future of the borough’s economy.”