I54 Explained

Company Name:i54
Company Type:Not Classified
Foundation:2005
Founder:Advantage West Midlands
Location City:Wolverhampton
Location Country:UK
Industry:Manufacturing, Offices, Research, Hotels, IT and Technology
Homepage:www.advantagewm.co.uk www.sstafs.gov.uk www.wolverhamptoncity.co.uk

i54 is a 220 acre (98 hectare) site at Wobaston Road, Pendeford, on the boundary of South Staffordshire and Wolverhampton which is under development for a technology-based business park.

The site is on the northern side of Wobaston Road, just to the west of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal with the M54 motorway running across the northern part of the site and was previously used as sewage treatment site.

The aim

The aim of this site is to deliver major employment opportunities and maximise job creation potential in key industries. It will also play a key role in the diversification and growth of the regional economy. It is also believed that i54 will achieve high standards of sustainability.

The regeneration project is a flagship joint venture between Advantage West Midlands and Wolverhampton City Council with the support of South Staffordshire Council.

Project costs and details

The cost of the project to the 98 hectare site is estimated to be costing £67 million GBP and was granted crucial planning approvals from two local authorities in September 2006.

In August 2006 contractors to the site started the second major phase of the scheme, a £5 million GBP 12 month programme of infrastructure and reclamation work.

On Tuesday 3 July 2007 key partners for the project toasted the substantial completion of a £10 million GBP programme of remmediation and site preparation works on the i54 site. The site preparation work ran over a 16 month period and has been carried out by Blackwell and supervised by Mouchel Parkman engineering consultancy. During this time the following was achieved:

Other statistics include:

Jaguar Land Rover

On 25th April 2011, Jaguar Land Rover expressed an interest in the i54 site as a possible location for a new engine plant.[1] On 19th September 2011 Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced at the engine factory in Solihull the proposals for Jaguar Land Rover's decision to build their new engine plant in Wolverhampton creating around 750 additional jobs within the company and more within the supply chain which will be created by a £355 million investment by Jaguar Land Rover and £10m by the Government. [2] The new plant in Wolverhampton will join other Midlands based plants in Solihull and Castle Bromwich as well as the birth place of the new Evoque in Halewood, Liverpool.[3]

It is understood that Jaguar Land Rover are taking on the investments to meet the demands of high sales in Asia. [4] The new engine plant will be home to the new family of 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines for the luxury Land Rover brand,[5] originally brought to help boost technology in Tata Motors vehicle range.[6] JLR chief executive Dr Ralf Speth announced that £1.5 billion is to be invested into the company and the new engine plant each year for the next 5 years on product development and the engine range. JLR engines are currently being supplied by Ford Motors[7]

Usage potential

Construction

Construction has now started on site, with work now underway for MOOG. The Aerospace company that makes flight controls is spending £15 million to move from its current location, to the i54 development in Wolverhampton. The company hopes to safeguard 400 jobs with its relocation, and expect the new facility to be open by September 2012. Also a laboratory firm by the name of Eurofins has also agreed to move to the development.

Enterprise Zone

On Wednesday 23rd March 2011, Chancellor George Osborne announced, 21 new enterprise zones in England. An Enterprise Zone was announced for the Black Country, and i54 development is the most favourable in the region to gain Enterprise Status. Enterprise Zone status would speed up the process of allowing companies to re-locate to the site and speed up development with tax breaks for companies wishing to re-locate to the site.[8]

Companies @ i54

Links

Notes and References

  1. http://www.expressandstar.com/business/midlands-business/2011/04/25/jlr-plans-i54-wolverhampton-engine-plant-and-1000-jobs/
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14973720
  3. http://www.expressandstar.com/lifestyle/motors/2011/03/14/jaguar-land-rover-eyes-record-sales-year/
  4. http://www.expressandstar.com/business/midlands-business/2011/04/25/jlr-plans-i54-wolverhampton-engine-plant-and-1000-jobs/
  5. http://www.engineeringcapacity.com/news101/business-news/jlr-plant-is-good-news-for-all
  6. http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/features/jlrs-em-foray-gamechanger-for-tata-motors_588248.html
  7. http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/259222/
  8. http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2011/03/24/tax-breaks-boost-for-local-businesses/