The Canal and River Trust — which protects and manages more than 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales — has started work on a £20m canalside development in Birmingham.
Specialist developer H2O Urban will oversee the demolition of derelict industrial buildings at the 13-acre site next to the city’s Tyseley Wharf and the construction of build-to-suit warehouse units. The trust has permission for a number of leasehold projects at Wharfdale Park ranging from 15,000 sq ft to 150,000 sq ft.
H2O is a fifty-fifty joint venture company, half owned by the trust and half by private developer bloc Ltd [correct]. The partnership is already working on a series of regeneration and redevelopment projects across the UK to maximise facilities and asset income for the Canal & River Trust.
“It’s great to see work to clear the site finally begin and we’re expecting construction of the first buildings to start in the summer,” commented the trust’s development manager, Cheryl Blount-Powell. “Wharfdale Park gives us an opportunity to create a high quality business environment which will offer firms the chance to rent a warehouse unit to their specifications in an excellent location.”
The site, close to both Coventry Road and Stratford Road, is in an area renowned as one of the most buoyant and successful industrial hubs in Birmingham and is already home to a range of global, national, regional and local businesses.
“Companies operating in the manufacturing, storage and distribution sectors will be able to benefit from a good pool of labour and excellent transport links to the national motorway network and Birmingham International Airport and train station,” she added.
Richard Thomas is managing the site for H2O Urban. “We are delighted to have been appointed as developer on this fantastic site,” he said. “Like many cities, there is a severe shortage of Grade A industrial accommodation in Birmingham and we are therefore confident that Wharfdale Park will prove to be an extremely attractive option.”
As part of its strategy H2O develops brownfield sites adjacent to the rivers and canals owned and managed by the trust with schemes specifically designed to balance local, historical, operational and environmental sensitivities and to provide unique waterside places for living, working and enjoying.
“Development sites are also used to create additional benefit for customers and users wherever possible,” explained Thomas. “For example, by establishing new waterway destinations, improving access to the waterway, or providing new facilities for users within developments.”
Harris Lamb and Colliers International have been appointed joint agents for the Wharfdale Park scheme.
Earlier this year the Canal & River Trust paid £22m for an industrial investment portfolio adjoining the Tyseley Wharf scheme.
PICTURE CAPTION: Cheryl Blount-Powell, of the Canal and River Trust, with Richard Thomas, of H2O Urban, at the Wharfdale Park development site.
Source: Canal & River Trust Press Release
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