More than £6 million is being invested into a green energy park in Birmingham which is aiming to cut air pollution and improve the environment in the city.

A new £3.89 million access road and refuelling station are being built on Tyseley Energy Park in south-east Birmingham while a further £2.5 million is being spent on an innovation hub.

Tyseley Energy Park covers 16 acres and is owned by wire company Webster & Horsfall, one of the oldest manufacturers in Birmingham.

Work has started on building the road which will provide access to what is claimed to be the UK's first low and zero-emission refuelling station.

It will be capable of refuelling up to 500 vehicles per day with hydrogen, compressed natural gas and biodiesel fuels as well as offering rapid electric chargers.

Marking the start of work on the new access road are (from left): David Horsfall, Tyseley Energy Park, Chris Loughran, Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, and Sylvia Broadley, Birmingham City Council
Marking the start of work on the new access road are (from left): David Horsfall, Tyseley Energy Park, Chris Loughran, Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, and Sylvia Broadley, Birmingham City Council

The new road and a crossing over the River Cole will enable HGVs, buses, taxis and vans to drive into the refuelling hub from the A45 Small Heath Highway and could create up to 135 new jobs.

It will also attract up to five new businesses at the site and generate an increase in investment into Tyseley and the Eastern Corridor between Birmingham and Solihull.

The road is due to be completed by the end of 2018 and the refuelling hub is set to be in operation during spring 2019.

The project has been supported with £1.76 million from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and a further £2.13 million secured from private investors.

Chris Loughran, deputy chairman of the LEP, said: "Tyseley Energy Park will provide companies with better access to fuels that are more environmentally friendly.

"Our investment reflects our commitment to growing the region's energy sector which has real potential to generate new jobs and bring more investment here."

A second, separate investment of £2.5 million has been announced by the University of Birmingham.

The university plans to build a 21,525 sq ft innovation hub that will provide businesses with the chance to develop their technology in collaboration with university staff the energy park.

It said the hub would be a centre for training associated with state-of-the-art energy, waste and low-carbon transport systems.

Professor Martin Freer, director of the university's Birmingham Energy Institute, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the university to put back into the city as it develops as a place which is at the centre of the energy transition in the UK."

Tyseley Energy Park has been earmarked as one of the West Midlands' first four so-called 'Energy Innovation Zones'.

Their main focus will be to integrate low-carbon technologies to develop the business models and infrastructure needed to support new approaches to clean energy.

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The park already has a £50 million biomass power station which processes 72,000 tonnes of waste timber to power 17,000 homes.

The station, which has created 19 full-time jobs, reduces the carbon footprint by more than 107,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

Future phases of development include 182,000 sq ft of employment space.

Director of Tyseley Energy Park David Horsfall said: "By working in collaboration with world-class partners, Tyseley Energy Park presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver green infrastructure that will drive forward change and attract major investment.

"We're excited by the potential of the site which is set to improve air quality within Birmingham."