Work has started on a new £8.5 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Birmingham’s Advanced Manufacturing Hub.
City leaders said the decision to press ahead with the speculative development represented a clear signal of intent that any post-Brexit uncertainty would not stand in the way of Birmingham’s growth plans.
The 94,500 sq ft Apollo facility near the A38 Aston Expressway seeks to bring in investment from global manufacturers.
The latest work is expected to be complete by February 2017 and takes investment on the site past the £40 million mark.
John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Whatever the national economic uncertainty, Birmingham is not standing still and the fact that construction of this new high quality manufacturing facility is underway gives a clear signal of our intent. We’re creating high quality jobs and business opportunities and this demonstrates both the resilience of the city’s economy and the underlying strength of the manufacturing sector.”
Work is being carried out by Trebor Developments after investment was secured from Aviva.
They are working in conjunction with Birmingham City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency while funding support has come from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).
Its chair Andy Street said: “I am pleased that the GBSLEP has been able to support this key regeneration project which is playing an important role in supporting the expansion of high quality manufacturing activity in the Greater Birmingham area. The fact that this is a speculative development also demonstrates confidence in the continued expansion of the manufacturing sector post Brexit.”
The Advanced Manufacturing Hub has already attracted two world class engineering companies, Hydraforce who have completed a new 125,000 sq ft unit and Guhring.
Advanced manufacturing has been identified as a key sector for Birmingham, along with digital and life sciences.
However, the Brexit vote has thrown question marks over growth and foreign investment.
But Mark Rogers, chief executive of Birmingham City Council, said this was a strong sign of intent.
He said: “The commencement of this development represents another success for the Advanced Manufacturing Hub which is bringing much needed jobs and investment to the Aston area. It also demonstrates that the City has a strong economic base, including our expanding manufacturing sector, to deal with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”