June 05, 2024

Henry Boot announces that HBD, the Group’s property investment and development arm, has secured Reserved Matters planning consent for three units totalling 464,000 sq ft at SPARK, Walsall, its £110m gross development value (“GDV”) industrial and logistical project.

The wider 620,000 sq ft SPARK project is being delivered in partnership with Walsall Council, Homes England, West Midlands Combined Authority and Black Country LEP. The former James Bridge Copper Works site, once the largest undeveloped brownfield site in the Black Country, is currently undergoing specialised remediation works, which HBD is set to complete in Q3 2024.

With optionality to draw down the land in phases, HBD is already seeing occupier interest in this prime scheme and is aiming to begin construction on the first of the three newly consented units in Q4 2024, with a target of being ready for occupation in the summer of 2025. The first unit is expected to add c.£40m to HBD’s current £154m GDV committed programme.

Units at SPARK range from 20,000 sq ft to 254,000 sq ft, providing sustainable space at the heart of the Midlands’ world-class manufacturing and logistics economy. Located adjacent to junctions 9 and 10 of the M6, it offers market-leading infrastructure and power provision, alongside a strong local skills base. Once the project has been fully developed, it will also be home to a thriving employment scheme, creating as many as 1,100 jobs in the local and surrounding area.

Tim Roberts, CEO of Henry Boot, commented: “Industrials and logistics remains one of our high conviction sectors and carrying out the specialised remediation works and securing detailed planning for the first three units at SPARK is testament to HBD’s expertise in navigating an increasingly onerous and complex planning system. We’re already seeing good occupier interest in the project, due to the lack of high-quality space with strong sustainability credentials in prime Midlands locations, which gives us confidence that we will have secured an occupier and started on site developing the first units by the end of the year. This new logistics and manufacturing hub will add to our growing industrial portfolio and replenish our committed development programme.”

Philippa Venables, Director of Regeneration and Economy at Walsall Council said: "We are thrilled to see HBD progress with the Reserved Matters planning for the first three units at SPARK, marking a significant milestone in the development of this landmark logistics and manufacturing hub in Walsall. The collaboration between HBD, Walsall Council, Homes England, West Midlands Combined Authority, and Black Country LEP underscores our commitment to driving economic growth and creating job opportunities in the region.”

Mike Goulding, Development Director Central at Homes England, said: “This marks an important step forward and adds further momentum to the SPARK project. We are pleased to be working collaboratively, to drive forward a project that will transform this large brownfield site into a sustainable place that will increase employment opportunities in the area.”

-ENDS-
Enquiries:

FTI Consulting
Richard Sunderland/Giles Barrie
Tel: 0789 479 7067 / 0779 892 6814
Email: henryboot@fticonsulting

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