Steel frames for new factory premises are going up on Wolverhampton’s i54 development site after property advisers Bulleys secured the £1.2 million sale of nearly 3.5 acres to Morris Site Machinery.
Bulleys, acting for City of Wolverhampton Council and Staffordshire County Council, has now overseen the sale of almost the entire over 140 acres of development land on the i54 site which is now a major centre of high-tech advanced manufacturing uses.
Just 12 acres remain for development, while Wolverhampton-based commercial property agents Bulleys, together with JLL, are now marketing the second phase of the site.
Morris Site Machinery is joining a prestigious array of manufacturers on i54, including Jaguar Land Rover, aerospace group Moog, stamp printers ISP, and home security company, ERA.
Morris sister business, Morris Property, is collaborating in the development of flagship premises for the site machinery company’s new Wolverhampton headquarters.
Liz Lowe, Head of Estates at Morris Property, said: “It’s been a real pleasure working with Bulleys at i54. The team at Wolverhampton, Noel Muscutt and Rod Spiby, resolved any challenges we faced. They were professional and pragmatic, working admirably on behalf of their clients, Wolverhampton City Council and Staffordshire County Council.”
Noel Muscutt, partner at Bulleys, said: “This sale means that most of the first phase of i54 is taken, in excess of 140 net acres for development on a 239 acre site, with only around 12 acres remaining for development.
“Marketing of Phase II of i54 has recently started and this phase can accommodate land sales and design & build solutions of up to 1 million sq ft.
“We are delighted at the successful conclusion of the sale to Morris and welcome them to one of the most prestigious industrial addresses in the country. We now look forward to many more companies joining them as Phase II makes progress.”
The latest £6 million development is the culmination of Morris Site Machinery looking for many years for exactly the right place to invest and grow its business. The state-of-the-art premises will provide 67,000 sq ft of manufacturing and office space.
Groundwork started in November and installation of the steel frame has already commenced in January.
When the 12 months building programme is complete, it will enable Morris Site Machinery to relocate from its existing base at Four Ashes, Wolverhampton, three miles away. The growing site machinery business is renowned for its SMC mobile lighting towers, which it sells worldwide, and range of other high-quality site equipment including generators, welders, pumps and pressure washers.
James West, chief operating officer for Morris Property, said: “We have a track record of building quality schemes at major Midlands business parks. We are proud to be awarded this contract for a project that will make a significant difference to a sister business and which will add to our parent company portfolio.”
Chris Morris, CEO of Morris Site Machinery added: “There is something very special when the property developer and occupier are 100% aligned as we are both within the Morris business group, and I believe the outcome of this project will be a showpiece construction, offering the ultimate operational efficiency.
“The distinctive building with its 16ft roof apexes and extensive eco attributes ensures our investment not only complies with, but exceeds the very latest environmental legislation – a reflection of our overall drive for eco solutions.”
City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Harman Banger, speaking on behalf of the i54 South Staffordshire Partnership, said: “Our joint investment at i54 has secured hundreds of millions of pounds of further investment and has brought thousands of jobs to the area, with half of employees living within a ten-mile radius.
“We are delighted work has started on the Morris Site Machinery development, which illustrates that demand from potential investors in a number of sectors for more accommodation is high, and the western extension of i54 will enable us to deliver that for the benefit of local residents and businesses.”