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West Midlands rail freight interchange project unveiled

Published: Thursday, 21st April 2016

A consortium has unveiled proposals for a major rail freight interchange in the West Midlands which it claims will boost the regional economy and could create between 6,500 and 8,500 jobs.

The initial plan is for between 557,418 and 743,224 square metres of warehousing and associated development on a 250-hectare site either side of the West Coast Main Line, immediately west of M6 Junction 12 and south of the A5 in south Staffordshire.

The project would be connected directly to the West Coast Main Line and would also serve Birmingham, the northern M6 corridor, Staffordshire and parts of Warwickshire.

The developer, Four Ashes Ltd, has the backing of Network Rail. Four Ashes is a consortium led by rail infrastructure company Kilbride Holdings in partnership with privately owned international property group, Grosvenor Group, which is providing funding, and Piers Monckton, the majority landowner.

Four Ashes managing director Peter Frost said: “A strategic rail freight interchange is something that has been long identified as essential for the future prosperity of the West Midlands region.

“This site has been identified because of its exceptional location with direct connections to the M6 and the West Coast Main Line. These factors, together with its size, make the site ideal for a strategic rail freight interchange. We are at the early stages of designing the scheme and are assessing layout options.”

The project would qualify as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and will require a Development Consent Order from Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

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Roger Milne