GBSLEP agrees £4 million deal to unlock Solihull mixed-use development

Posted by lepadmin - February 20, 2013 - Business, Growing Places, Newsroom - No Comments
Smith's Wood Centre, North Solihull, which has received support worth £4 million from the Growing Places fund.

Smith’s Wood Centre, North Solihull, which has received support worth £4 million from the Growing Places fund.

The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has agreed a £4 million deal to enable a community, office and retail scheme in North Solihull to go ahead.

Support from the GBSLEP’s Growing Places Fund will enable Sigma Inpartnership via its wholly owned subsidiary, Solihull Inpartnership – one of the private sector partners in the North Solihull Partnership – to start construction of the Smith’s Wood Village Centre development.

The Growing Places fund is designed to get stalled infrastructure projects moving again, unlocking developments and enabling the delivery of new jobs, commercial space and homes.

The funding in Smith’s Wood will support the construction of a 30,000 sq ft, two-storey commercial development, with 16,000 sq ft of office accommodation and eight retail units.

The office accommodation will be leased by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the new development is expected to open in spring 2014.

The Village Centre is part of a wider regeneration project in Smith’s Wood which itself forms part of a wider transformation of North Solihull.

Paul Heaven, GBSLEP Board Director.

Paul Heaven, GBSLEP Board Director.

Paul Heaven, GBSLEP Board Director and Chair of the Growing Places Committee, said: “We know that many development projects have stalled as a result of the tightening of finance availability and the Growing Places Fund is an excellent way to get these schemes back on track.

“This is a typical commercial development project which had been stalled by lack of gap finance and we are delighted to have helped to get the project back and track and construction underway.

“I would urge developers who are having similar problems accessing finance to get in touch with the GBSLEP to see if we can use the Growing Places Fund to get their project moving.”

Cabinet Member of Economic Development at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Councillor Ian Courts said: “This a big step forward in the regeneration of Smith’s Wood Village Centre.

“I hope local people will be delighted to see their high street emerging, and will join me in welcoming the new retail and community services that this development will create.

“Together with the improvements in housing, school buildings and the public realm, we have reached a major milestone in increasing local amenities and creating a village centre which is accessible and welcoming for everyone who visits.”

Duncan Sutherland, Chairman of Sigma Inpartnership said: “This is a great step forward for the community of Smith’s Wood and will add much needed facilities and services beside the new and successful Smith’s Wood Primary School, also built through the North Solihull Partnership.

“The support of GBSLEP has been instrumental in moving this project forward at a time when bank funding for all development such as this is non-existent.

“Sigma Inpartnership would also like to thank SMBC for their support in making this happen.”