St Francis Group announces sale of 7 acre site to West Midlands Combined Authority

(l-r): Gareth Williams, Development Director of St Francis Group, Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street and Cllr Mike Bird, leader of Walsall Council announce a land deal paving the way for a new train station at Darlaston.

St Francis Group, a leading UK-based property development and investment group and an expert in brownfield development and regeneration is pleased to announce that it has sold 7 acres of land at Bentley Point, Cemetery Road, Darlaston, Willenhall, West Midlands to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The West Midlands Combined Authority has purchased the land with the intention to develop a new railway station for Darlaston.

Situated approximately two and half miles to the west of Walsall Town Centre, 11 and half miles north west of Birmingham City Centre and 6 miles east of Wolverhampton City Centre, the Cemetery Road site is ideally located to serve the needs of the local population and community.

Speaking about the news Gareth Williams, Development Director of St Francis Group said: “We are very pleased to have concluded this deal with the West Midlands Combined Authority. Although we had plans to develop the site, we were pleased to be able to assist in the delivery of such a key piece of infrastructure. We own other land in the area so the spin off benefit of a new rail station is obvious.

We look forward to seeing how proposals for the new station progress and the continued regeneration of the area”.

Also speaking about the announcement Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said:

“This is another important step towards restoring rail passenger services to a community which hasn’t had a station now for over half a century.

“With ambitious housing and investment taking place on brownfield sites across the Black Country, this is a vital piece of infrastructure which will make a huge difference.

“The work is currently underway to establish what we need to do to get the Wolverhampton to Walsall line usable for passenger services again and we expect an announcement about this soon.”

Also attending the event and speaking about the announcement Cllr Mike Bird, leader of Walsall Council and WMCA portfolio holder for land and housing said: “Improving transport access is vital to our ambitions for making Walsall a vibrant and commercially successful destination

“This land acquisition is another important part in that overall plan.”

The two new stations are expected to cost around £18m in total and could be open by 2021.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is a combined authority for the West Midlands metropolitan county in England. It was established by statutory instrument under the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009. It is a strategic authority with powers over transport, economic development and regeneration. The authority formally came into being on 17 June 2016