Developers planning to build a rail freight transport hub which could create up to 8,500 West Midlands jobs are set to unveil their initial proposals.

Consortium Four Ashes is behind the project to construct the 'strategic rail freight interchange' on 615 acres of land in South Staffordshire.

First announced in April, it is hoped the 'West Midlands Interchange' will attract major occupiers from sectors such as logistics and retail which are seeking locations where they can base major operations.

The hub, near Featherstone, will have direct access to the West Coast Main Line at Four Ashes station, enabling occupiers to shift large quantities of freight off the motorway and onto the rail network, cutting congestion and helping the environment.

The proposed development, on 615 acres of land west of junction 12 of the M6, is being funded by property firm Grosvenor Group, which is owned by the Duke of Westminster Gerald Grosvenor, and Surrey-based rail infrastructure specialist Kilbride.

The land predominantly belongs to Piers Monckton, whose family owns the nearby stately home Stretton Hall.

A series of consultation events on the design options is running until July 24 with Four Ashes keen to hear the public's opinions at this early stage.

Exhibitions are being held at The Haling Dene Centre in Penkridge on June 30, Coven Memorial Hall on July 8 and Calf Heath Village Hall on July 9.

Four Ashes' managing director Peter Frost said: "The development will be made up of warehouses for the storage, processing and movement of goods for manufacturers, retailers and consumers and will connect the West Midlands to a wider strategic national network of rail served distribution centres and ports.

"It's the type of project that the region's businesses and economic organisations have said they urgently need and it is supported by a national government policy to encourage freight movements off the roads and onto rail."

A planning application for the project is not due to be submitted until autumn 2017 and the final decision whether to award permission will lie with the Government, rather than South Staffordshire Council.