Exploratory drilling and excavation operations have been completed as part of preparations to bring a largely derelict major Black Country site back into use to attract new investment, businesses and jobs to the region.
The revitalised land could create as many as 3,000 jobs in new ventures such as high quality logistics and distribution operations and associated businesses. Specialists working on behalf of Walsall Regeneration Company carried out site investigations at various locations across the 60-plus acre Darlaston Strategic Development Area, which straddles the M6, to finalise the best way to bring about its transformation.
Drilling and excavation equipment was utilised to evaluate the ground conditions across the site. Some 60 to 65 boreholes were sunk to a depth of up to 25 metres to determine groundwater quality and flow direction and some 25 to 35 trial pits were excavated to depths of up to four metres to establish the nature of the near surface conditions.
Consultants Bucknall Austin are leading a team of remediation, implementation and delivery experts and are working closely with the landowners within the DSDA to undertake a comprehensive overview of the area.
Will Evans, development director of WRC, said: "The exploratory site works were essential to fully understand the nature of the land. We need to assess what is required to restore the land to productive use and determine exactly what options are available to attract funding.
"The area is one of the most strategic regeneration opportunities along the M6 corridor and we believe its potential for investment and jobs can be realised if its delivery is carried out in the most effective way."
Bucknall Austin is due to present the Delivery Strategy for Darlaston during the autumn. The regeneration of the 60-plus acres is seen as a crucial building block in the creation of a revitalised Walsall and wider Black Country.
Proposals for the site are being developed in consultation with WRC's partners at regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, English Partnerships and Walsall Council, together with key landowners and with the community.