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WMCA makes investment towards £5.5m development of former Birmingham factory site

A West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) investment fund is backing the £5.5 million rebirth of a landmark former Birmingham factory site.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, front, with Jon Robinson, rear left, of Barberry, Henry Bellfield, Barberry director, and Nick Oakley of Finance Birmingham.

The Combined Investment Fund (CIF) has provided £2.9m of loan funding to Barberry Developments to assist with the speculative development of the 46,000 sq ft industrial unit on the old Tuckers Fastenings site at Walsall Road, Perry Barr.

Barberry has purchased the site, with construction expected to complete later this year and resulting in the creation of around 75 new jobs.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council and WMCA portfolio holder for finance and investments, said: “I am delighted the CIF is able to play a part in bringing this site back into industrial use.

“Projects such as this are why the CIF was established, to help create the right conditions for industry and the jobs that are key to ensuring a prosperous future for the West Midlands.”

Tucker Fasteners had been at the Walsall Road site since 1903 producing rivets, fasteners and other metal products, as well as building fighter planes during World War II. It closed in 2013.

Barberry director Henry Bellfield said the 2.5 acre brownfield site occupied a prominent location on the A34 and was within minutes of Birmingham city centre and the M6 motorway.

“This development is well positioned to serve the local population and we expect it to be of interest from occupiers in the e-commerce, urban logistics fulfilment, retail, wholesale, and the trade and manufacturing sectors,” he said.

Jon Robinson, development director of Barberry, added: “This scheme will provide much needed stock to the mid-sized industrial/warehouse sector, providing occupiers and businesses with the quality accommodation needed to expand, create jobs or relocate their businesses within the West Midlands.”

The CIF is a £70 million commercial development war-chest set up by the WMCA earlier this year to stimulate jobs, opportunity and growth.

It is aimed at unlocking a further £1 billion in private sector investment over the next 10 years.

It is managed by Finance Birmingham and provides short-term loans to private sector developers to enable them to get schemes off the ground.

Nick Oakley, senior investment director at Finance Birmingham, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist a well-established local developer with the speculative redevelopment of this key employment site in Birmingham.

“It is an excellent location and will encourage further inward investment into the city.”