First Staffordshire Growth Deal project set for completion

The first business development project backed by the Government’s Growth Deal funding to get under way in Staffordshire is on schedule for completion at the end of this month.

Groundworks and access developments – including a new rail bridge – will soon be finished at Liberty Park, Lichfield. The work has been carried out by Staffordshire County Council and is paving the way for construction of new industrial units by Liberty Property Trust and its partner Stoford Developments. Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader Mark Winnington gave a progress update on Liberty Park and other Growth Deal projects at yesterday’s cabinet meeting as the latest artist impression of the development was released.

The industrial and warehouse development, which will create up to 1,100 jobs, received a £4million allocation from the Government’s Local Growth Fund. It was the first Growth Deal-funded project to get under way in the county and will be the first to be completed. Work to provide access to the site near Lichfield Trent Valley station involved replacing a bridge over the railway. The old bridge was demolished overnight on Christmas Day 2014 before being replaced in the summer. Twelve concrete beams were put in place to provide the new bridge deck in July and Burton Old Road, which has also undergone major improvements, is set to open again on November 30.

Mark Winnington said: “Liberty Park, Lichfield, is one of our flagship developments and is significant to us because it will be the first completed Growth Deal project. Finishing the infrastructure is a real milestone as it means Liberty and Stoford can get on with the business development and continue to market the site. It has been a considerable achievement and involved meticulous planning to ensure the bridge was replaced on time. Together with our partners we are demonstrating how we’re delivering major projects which boost economic growth and job creation locally. This sends a strong positive message to the Government and potential investors.”

Andrew Blevins, managing director, Liberty Property Trust said:  “Liberty Park, Lichfield is an important example of Staffordshire County Council working with the property industry to enable commercial development and jobs to come to Lichfield.

“The new access infrastructure which has now opened up the development site, has been jointly funded by Government and Liberty Park, Lichfield developers, Liberty Property Trust.

“Since the development was launched in March this year, it has already attracted interest from potential occupiers well placed to create jobs and economic growth for the region.”