Funding boost for Kingswood Lakeside Business Park
Commercial development at the Kingswood Lakeside Business Park in Cannock should be completed two years earlier than planned thanks to £1.5m of Local Growth Fund intervention from Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBSLEP).
The funding will support the ground treatment works required to enhance this prime employment location adjacent to the M6 Toll.
The funding is phased with £0.8m to support this development and another £0.7m scheduled for further site development.
The first success of this investment is a 100,000sq ft industrial unit which will provide the headquarters for a leading national catering spares distributor, First Choice Group.
The First Choice Group already employs 130 people and can now expand its operations and workforce locally in the new larger premises. The new building will include a three-storey office incorporating kitchens for catering and training purposes, overlooking Kingswood Lake.
GBSLEP Board Director Simon Marks said: “The investment from the Local Growth Fund will support the development of this key employment site in Cannock; safeguarding existing jobs and helping to create future employment as the site is developed.”
The land was bought from the Staffordshire County Council by property development and investment firm Opus Land, which also delivered the Veolia HQ and APC regional distribution hub at Kingswood Lakeside on adjoining plots.
Victoria Smith, Joint Managing Director of Opus Land said: “Opus Land is delighted to be involved in yet another prominent development at Kingswood Lakeside with the assistance of Staffordshire County Council and Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP. We see the development of this next phase as an opportunity to deliver a best-in-class HQ building for First Choice, the largest supplier of catering spares in the UK. The building will provide 100,000 sq.ft. of accommodation with over 35,000 sq.ft. of offices including specialist catering and training facilities for the company. It will provide the area with further high quality commercial space and deliver substantial jobs for the local community.”
Cllr Gordon Alcott, Cannock Chase Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Leader for Economic Development & Planning said: “This is an excellent example of how a number of key agencies can work together to facilitate the expansion of an important local business. Not only will this project safeguard the existing workforce, but it also opens the door to future jobs growth as First Choice build on its impressive customer base.”
Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader Mark Winnington said: “Now the land deal has been agreed and plans approved, we can look forward to seeing development begin as soon as possible. We’re pleased First Choice decided to base its HQ at Kingswood Lakeside – one of the county’s main business sites and one developed by the county council. This is yet another example of how, together with our partners, we are supporting business expansion in Staffordshire. It means more quality business development, retention of a leading company in its sector and more jobs in the Cannock area at a time when we have record low employment figures for the county.”