Developers have reached a key milestone in plans for 7,000 Birmingham jobs to be based at the former Rover site at Longbridge.
The number of people working on the site has passed 3,000 – which is close to half the 6,500 who were laid off when Rover collapsed.
St Modwen, which bought the land from Rover and specialises in the regeneration of former industrial sites, says there will be a further 4,000 jobs created at Longbridge over the next two years.
The 468-acre, multi-million pound, mixed-use regeneration project is expected to add £134 million to the region’s by 2015
While in truth the Rover works supported as many as 40,000 wider jobs in the West Midlands – and hence the redevelopment will never truly replace it – passing the 6,500 figure will be a notable milestone for the scheme, which started in 2007.
Mike Murray, senior development surveyor at St Modwen, said: “Despite difficult economic conditions, Longbridge has created a diverse range of employment opportunities, contributing to the growth of IT, manufacturing, education, retail and service sector businesses.
"In particular Longbridge Technology Park is a major hub with over 40 businesses and 350 people working in a high quality environment.
“The continuing success of Longbridge has been testament to the financial investment, hard work and determination of St. Modwen and our stakeholders, including the Homes and Communities Agency and Birmingham City Council, who have been resolute in their support to rebuild the community and create a sense of place.
“Through these efforts, Longbridge is emerging as the preferred destination for business users, due to its strong transport links, close proximity to the M42 and M5 and railway station. There is a real sense of optimism and excitement around the area, particularly with the planned opening of the town centre later in 2013.”
More than 2,725 permanent jobs have been secured on Longbridge in the last six years, with 348 full time equivalent jobs being created during the construction process.
Though some of those jobs at Longbridge would be with companies relocating, developers say many are newly-created. Mr Murray said there has also been a boost to the community in and around Longbridge.
He said: “The sense of community has also been reinvigorated and we’re immensely proud of what we have achieved over the past six years.
“We continue to promote Longbridge as a sustainable location where all sectors can successfully invest and we look forward to welcoming new businesses and residents.”