Political leaders behind the i54 South Staffordshire development hailed the visit by The Queen on Thursday 30 October 2014 as royal recognition for one of the UK’s premier enterprise parks.
Her Majesty, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, is officially opening Jaguar Land Rover’s new engine manufacturing centre and a new facility for hi-tech printing firm International Security Printers.
In a joint statement, Philip Atkins, Staffordshire County Council Leader, Cllr Roger Lawrence, Wolverhampton City Council Leader, and Cllr Brian Edwards, South Staffordshire Council Leader, said:
“To have The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh open not just one, but two businesses today demonstrates i54 South Staffordshire’s position as one of the UK’s leading enterprise sites.
“i54 is a unique partnership between our three councils, delivered on time, on budget and setting new standards for British business, engineering and advanced manufacturing.
“Our joint investment at i54 has secured hundreds of millions of pounds of further investment and is bringing thousands of jobs to the area.
“Our councils acted quickly and decisively in the midst of a recession, agreeing to invest in the site and build the new motorway junction. This entrepreneurial approach has clearly paid off and created one of the UK’s prime sites for international enterprise and investment.”
The i54 story
I54 South Staffordshire is a unique partnership development between Staffordshire County Council, Wolverhampton City Council and South Staffordshire Council.
Back in 2011, in the midst of the recession, the safeguarding of 550 jobs at aviation giants Moog and scientific laboratory firm Eurofins, thanks to their relocation to i54, coupled with Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) announcement that it was to build its new engine manufacturing centre at the site, was a major boost for the UK economy and a vote of confidence in the area’s position at the forefront of modern, world class engineering.
The success of i54, part of the Black Country Enterprise Zone, is the result of hard work and long-term planning by three different councils – a district, city and county – united to stimulate growth, create jobs and make i54 a development with international significance.
Staffordshire County Council and Wolverhampton City Council have invested over £40m to build the motorway junction and site infrastructure. The investment will be repaid from future business rates collected from the site by South Staffordshire Council. The engineering works, led by the County Council, are the largest civil engineering undertaking in its history.
Securing the four current businesses, representing 2,000 jobs, 1.3million sqft of floorspace and £600m of investment, has resulted in the Black Country Enterprise Zone being the best performing Enterprise Zone in the country.
Extensive work continues to ensure communities and businesses in Wolverhampton and Staffordshire benefit from the development including: recruitment and apprenticeship programmes; and meet the buyer events to promote supply chain opportunities; and the continued marketing of the remaining land at i54 to prospective occupiers.
i54 South Staffordshire facts and figures
97 hectare / 239 acre site
10.7 hectares of land (less than 12% of the site) remains available for development
When Jaguar Land Rover reaches full capacity, there will be 2,000 jobs on site
Access to a workforce of over 550,000 people within a 30 minute drive time. There are over 3 million people of working age within a 20 mile radius
Enterprise Zone Status – part of the Black Country Enterprise Zone. This includes 100% business rate relief worth up to £275,000 over a 5 year period for businesses that move onto i54, from outside the Enterprise Zone
There are 23,500 high technology and automotive related businesses within 1 hour of i54 employing 330,000 people. Automotive manufacturing and the supply chain is extensively represented in the region. R&D and Aerospace are also important established sectors whilst Environmental Technologies is a fast emerging sector.
Business on site
Jaguar Land Rover – its award winning £500m engine manufacturing centre will employ 1,400 staff when it reaches full capacity. The world-class plant will manufacture the first family of premium, advanced technology engines, Ingenium, to be entirely designed and built in-house by Jaguar Land Rover for exclusive use in the company’s future vehicles.
Moog – International aerospace company. The purpose built facility houses their design, development and manufacturing operations for multiple aircraft flight controls programmes. 400 staff employed on site.
Eurofins – a leading international laboratory testing company servicing pharmaceutical, food, environmental and consumer product industries. 150 staff.
International Security Printers – hi-tech security printing firm, printed the Royal Wedding stamps for Prince William and Kate Middleton. 80 staff.
Picture Credit: Express & Star