Work has now started on the site of what will be West Bromwich’s new shopping hub.
Heavy machinery and construction crews from Vinci Construction have moved onto the derelict land to work through the first phase of work, which includes the integration of the separate pockets of land into the main development site which will be anchored by a 139,000 sq ft Tesco superstore.
Sean Delaney, project manager for Vinci Construction, said: “The first phase will take around six weeks to complete and one of the biggest tasks will be to bring the various pockets of land together ready for the next phase of construction, where we will dig out and install the major water, gas and electricity services.”
Jonathan Simpson, corporate affairs manager for Tesco, said: “Now that work on site has begun, we will really start to see the transformation of the town take place very quickly.
"West Bromwich has an extremely bright future and it is great to see the scheme already starting to help provide work opportunities for local people and businesses.”
The 437,000sq ft scheme has already seen retailers Primark, Next, Arcadia, JD Sports and Bank sign up to take space in the development.
Coun Ian Jones, Sandwell’s cabinet member for jobs and economy, added: “We know how important it is to the people of West Bromwich and Sandwell that they have excellent new shops and leisure facilities.
“This scheme will allow us to realise our vision for West Bromwich and transform it into one of the region’s premier towns.
“This is a very exciting day as the plans are finally becoming a reality.”
The development also includes a 36,000sq ft cinema and restaurant space, with 1,900 car parking spaces. It is expected to be fully open by spring 2013.