One of the region’s largest regeneration projects enters a new phase this month as specialist contractors move on site to commence vital remediation work at Phoenix 10, the former James Bridge Copper Works; a 44-acre brownfield site that has been disused for two decades.
Contractor John F Hunt will undertake the work on behalf of a partnership between property developer HBD, Walsall Council, Homes England, Black Country LEP and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) which has made a multi-million pound investment into the scheme.
The move follows initial site clearance which has paved the way for the extensive work now needed to make the site ready for development. Remediation is expected to conclude in early 2024, with construction beginning shortly afterwards.
More than 44 acres at the former James Bridge Copper Works will be regenerated with new commercial premises
Once completed, Phoenix 10 will provide 620,000 sq. ft. of high-quality employment space accessed via Junctions 9 and 10 of the M6. It is expected to create around 1,000 jobs, while helping to drive inward investment.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “It is absolutely fantastic news that work is now underway to finally transform this derelict site and bring it back to life, and I am delighted the WMCA could put the cash on the table to make it happen.
“This development, which will create hundreds of local jobs for local people, is just the latest example of why the West Midlands is rightly recognised as leading the UK on brownfield regeneration and why we continue to push for more funding and powers through our negotiations on a trailblazing devolution deal.”
Cllr Adrian Andrew, Deputy Leader of Walsall Council added: “This is a major milestone in the transformation of this brownfield site. Seeing derelict land returned to good use is proof of Walsall’s continued regeneration. Once this vital work is completed we’ll see a modern, commercial development rise from the ashes and create hundreds of local jobs in Pleck, Walsall and the wider region.”
Ben Williams, CEO of John F Hunt Regeneration said “Working with the various stakeholders, we look forward to helping convert this derelict site, into one which provides sustainable regeneration, employment, and a conduit for further investment in the Midlands. Our multi-disciplinary team has already been planning and preparing for the transformation of this site and we look forward to seeing its delivery.”
Simon Raiye, Director at HBD, said: “Phoenix 10 is one of the largest and most complex regeneration projects underway in the Midlands and will offer the region a huge boost in creating new jobs and helping to build a thriving economy.
"It’s great to be able to get started on cleaning the site up and giving it new purpose. It is extremely well located and played an important role in the town’s history, so we look forward to seeing the new scheme begin to take shape over the coming years.”
Lucy Blasdale, Development Director Homes England said “This marks a significant step forward for this regionally important regeneration scheme. The Phoenix 10 project is an excellent example of what can be achieved through partnership working, and we will continue to work with our partners to deliver transformational schemes.”
Tom Westley DL, Chair of the Board for the Black Country LEP said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners to ensure key sites in the Black Country like Phoenix 10 are transformed to support our world-class manufacturing sector and we welcome this key milestone in the development of this location. The Black Country LEP see this as a massive boost to the local economy enabling us to continue to demonstrate that the Black Country is the perfect place for business – and therefore communities – to thrive.”