Work underway on £38million Liberty Park development

(L-R) James Leavesley, board member, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP and Deputy Lieutenant for Staffordshire with special responsibility for business; Helen Fisher, transport leader, Staffordshire County Council; Ed Peel, development manager, Stoford; David Frost, chairman, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP; Robin Vaughan, associate director, development, Liberty Property Trust; Andy Sewards, group managing director, G F Tomlinson.

Work has started on a £38million development in Staffordshire that is set to create more than 700 new jobs.

Construction at Liberty Park, Lichfield, adjacent to the A38, has begun after Lichfield District Council granted planning permission for the development of two speculative industrial/logistics units.

The development benefits from excellent access by road and unrivalled public transport access being located next to Lichfield Trent Valley Railway Station.

The new units – L115 and L48 – will provide 115,000 sq ft and 48,000 sq ft of Grade A industrial/logistics accommodation with up to 230 combined car parking spaces and 17 lorry spaces. Derbyshire-based G F Tomlinson has been appointed as lead contractor and is expected to complete work on the new units in October 2019.

Development partners Liberty Property Trust and Stoford staged an official groundbreaking ceremony at Liberty Park, Lichfield attended by representatives from Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Andrew Blevins, managing director of Liberty Property Trust’s UK operation, said: “Liberty Park, Lichfield is an exciting opportunity providing quality industrial and logistics accommodation in a superior A38 location, which is already proving attractive to occupiers.”

Tony Nash, director of Stoford Developments, said: “We are delighted to see work start on this major employment project and are looking forward to developing the scheme.”

Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, said: “We are committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Midlands Engine and building a country that works for everyone. Our £4million Local Growth Fund investment has paved the way for work to start on the development of Liberty Park, funding the infrastructure works necessary to open up this business park. Once complete, this project will enable the people of Lichfield and the wider Staffordshire area to benefit from the creation of more than 700 jobs, as well as a new investment site that will attract more businesses to the area.”

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman, David Frost CBE hailed the success of this first business development project backed by the Growth Deal and commented: “These essential infrastructure improvements opening up Liberty Park got our Growth Deal plans off to a flying start. The success of this project is a real boost to our package of strategic industrial and commercial developments that are raising our profile nationally and internationally and driving economic growth across our area, from i54 in the south to Ceramic Valley in the north.

“We are delighted to see that our ambitions to create more and better jobs benefitting local communities are bearing fruit. Showpiece projects such as Liberty Park illustrate the benefits of working in partnership with the private sector and local authorities and demonstrate that our region is very much open for business.”

Staffordshire County Council’s transport leader, Helen Fisher said: “We’re pleased to see development get under way at Liberty Park as it presents the county with another prime investment site with superb connectivity where we will see more jobs created. The county council, working on behalf of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, created access to the site with the new road bridge over the West Coast Mainline. This was a complicated engineering project of which we’re proud as it will pave the way for in the region of 700 jobs. The project has been further demonstration of how public and private sectors have worked together to deliver results. It is also another example of the county council and partners laying the foundations for growth.”

Councillor Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “We look forward to seeing Liberty Park take shape and to welcoming new businesses to Lichfield. The site is ideally located for industrial and logistics enterprises, with its close access to the main road networks, and will be a boost to the local economy.”

Liberty Park, Lichfield is a 32-acre development site with planning consent for approximately 441,000 sq ft, including units from 40,000 sq ft to 350,000 sq ft. Major improvements have already been made to site access and infrastructure, including new car parking facilities and the replacement of a road bridge over the West Coast Main Line.

The development is situated approximately 16 miles north of Birmingham, providing speedy access to the A38 and the M6 Toll (Junctions T4 and T5). The site is a minute’s walk from Lichfield Trent Valley train station, with mainline links to London and cross-country links on the Midland’s rail network. Local occupiers include DHL, Newell Rubbermaid, Florette, Tesco and Palletways.

Liberty Park, Lichfield, has been backed by £4million funding through the Government’s Growth Deal and was the first such project to get underway in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The funding is part of an £128million package of major Growth Deal projects being delivered across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire by the local enterprise partnership.

Liberty Park, Lichfield is being jointly marketed by CBRE and Avison Young.