Plans to create a new £70 million office complex - designed to provide a platform for Marconi in Coventry - have taken a major step forward.

Developer, British Land, which owns New Century Park, in Copeswood has applied for planning consent to create a new headquarters for the telecommunications and IT company.

British Land bought the site from Marconi Communications five years ago and is now planning to develop four state-of-the-art office buildings, totalling 310,000 sq ft on the 67 acre site off Binley Road and Allard Way.

Originally, Marconi had earmarked a large site for its headquarters at Ansty. But that soon fell away when its share price collapsed, the group nearly went bust, and shed thousands of jobs - it has since go on to reinvent itself.

The 1,500 Marconi workforce will relocate into the New Century Park buildings in the autumn and winter of 2006/7.

Nigel Webb, British Land's head of development, said the complex would be one of the largest office schemes in Coventry for the past 30 years.

"Marconi has changed dramatically in recent years and this development will reflect the new shape to meet its current and future occupational requirements."

British Land hopes to gain planning consent this summer with work to commence later in the year.

Paul Harris, Marconi's head of real estate and operational development, went on to claim: "The scheme creates the foundations for future Marconi generations."