A historic West Midland former colliery site is being targeted by manufacturing giant Jaguar Land Rover – more than 25 years after it closed.
The vehicle maker is seeking to relocate its National Distribution Centre at Gaydon more than 50 miles to the site of the former Baddesley Colliery, near Tamworth.
The North Warwickshire colliery closed in 1989 after nearly 140 years, employing thousands of miners throughout its lifetime. It was the scene of flying picket protests during the 1984-85 nationwide strike, when the vast majority of Baddesley miners worked.
But now the site could be given a new lease of life – potentially creating new jobs – under JLR’s plans to relocate its National Distribution Centre.
Baddesley was also the site of one of the West Midlands’ worst mining disasters in May 1882, when a fire and explosion killed 32 miners, including men who fought in vain to save colleagues trapped underground.
The vehicle maker confirmed plans were in the pipeline to relocate to the former mine site following a planning application by landowners Merevale and Blyth Estates.
A spokesperson for Jaguar Land Rover said: “Jaguar Land Rover is a growing business, one of the largest investors in the UK and a large employer in the Midlands.
“We are considering opportunities to allow for our continued growth and are in discussions with land owners to lease land to occupy our National Distribution Centre. As part of this, one landlord has submitted a planning application to North Warwickshire Borough Council.”
Philip Blackman, chief executive of Merevale and Blyth Estates, said: “Planning consent was granted by the council to turn the old Baddesley Colliery site into a centre for car storage and distribution a number of years ago. Now, finally, we hope to see that become a reality with JLR.”
It is understood the 60-acre site, which would be open round the clock, could see more than 200 HGV deliveries daily. The application will be considered by North Warwickshire Borough Council in mid-June.