Construction work starts on UK’s largest logistics development

Global real estate investor Oxford Properties Group and logistics developer Logistics Capital Partners have kicked off construction of the UK’s largest logistics development.

The two partners jointly acquired the site in 2021 and will invest over £1 bn (€1.15 bn) in the West Midlands Interchange (WMI) project that will create 8,500 jobs and generate £430 mln (€497 mln) in local economic activity each year.

The first phase of development is already underway at the 297-hectare site, with the first plots available for vertical builds from H1 2024.

The site will accommodate new warehouses ranging in size from 18,581 m2 to over 92,903 m2 and building heights of up to 30 metres.

James Boadle, head of logistics and European strategy at Oxford Properties, commented: ‘Demand for best-in-class logistics space that’s sustainable and well connected continues to significantly outstrip supply; especially in the UK’s ‘Golden Triangle’. With spades now in the ground, we are at the first step in the construction of this major project that we are undertaking alongside LCP.’

LCP managing partner, James Markby, added: ‘We look forward to delivering what will be a world leading logistics hub, with a new Strategic Rail Freight Interchange, while delivering significant economic benefit to the region and nationally, and creating a milestone example for private investment that materially contributes towards a carbon net zero future.’

The WMI site is centrally located, northwest of Birmingham, providing connectivity to the UK’s major cities, ports, and airports, with immediate access to the M6 motorway allowing 88% of the population to be reached within a four-hour drive, well inside the HGV single trip limit.

The development will include a new Strategic Rail Freight Interchange, which will help to reduce carbon emissions from logistics.

The WMI project is a major milestone in the decarbonisation of UK logistics. It aims to reduce carbon emissions by 70%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 15 times, and particulate emissions by nearly 90%.

The WMI project is also committed to providing employment and training opportunities for local people and businesses. An Employment Fund Steering Group has been established to maximise these opportunities.

Construction firm Winvic will be responsible for the first phase of the construction.

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