Plans for a £60 million advanced manufacturing and technology facility at Birmingham Business Park – which will boost the hi-tech cluster on the M42 corridor – has moved a step closer.

Aero Engine Controls (AEC), currently based at Hall Green in Birmingham, intends to move to a 24 acre-site on the business park.

The facility will incorporate a new 250,000 sq ft technology, design, development, manufacturing and testing facility, with associated expansion space.

The move will see more than 1,100 AEC West Midlands based staff re-locating from their current premises at Shaftmoor Lane and York Road, Birmingham into a new state-of-the-art facility from 2014.

The move is subject to planning approval and a planning application is being prepared for the new facility. This will be submitted during the spring and a formal community engagement programme is planned prior to the submission of the planning application to Solihull MBC.

Simon Burr, chief executive of AEC said: “We’re delighted to announce plans to grow our business by investing in a new facility in Solihull.

“Having our Birmingham design and manufacturing operations under one roof, combined with more space and a state-of-the-art facility will allow us to be much more efficient and strengthen our ability to attract employees.

“We have a long history in the area and I am looking forward to meeting with local people as we look to make Birmingham Business Park our long-term home.”

Councillor Ken Meeson, Leader of Solihull MBC said: “It’s great news that we are one step closer to AEC relocating to the Borough, confirming that Solihull really is the destination of choice for business growth and success. We have an international reputation as centre of excellence for advanced engineering, and with AEC’s investment this reputation can only be strengthened.

“Here in Solihull, we already have a highly skilled and talented workforce. We are confident that as AEC’s business grows, they will be able to find the skills and expertise they need for the future, and inspire more young people to pursue careers in engineering and design. We look forward to welcoming them to Solihull.”

James Raven, development director for Goodman’s UK business parks, said: “This is tremendous news which represents a significant stepping stone in the on-going process in the development of this major new facility. Birmingham Business Park is already one of the region’s most established and vibrant business communities, and we’re looking forward to welcoming Aero Engine Controls to the park’s growing portfolio of companies.”