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Regeneration On JLR's Doorstep Agreed, But Be Patient — This Will Take 15 Years

The JLR plant at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham

A new strategy for development around Jaguar Land Rover's home neighbourhood in Birmingham has been agreed, but the major commercial opportunities could take 15 years to emerge.

Birmingham City Council’s ruling executive approved the new East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Strategy Feb. 9, following a report to councillors.

The coming of the high speed train link to London and the proposed East Birmingham to Solihull extension of the Midland Metro, are major opportunities for the area that can be harnessed to deliver wider positive change, the council said.

In a move fraught with political symbolism ahead of this year’s West Midlands mayoral elections, Labour candidate and Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne was appointed to chair a delivery board.

The board will agree and regularly review an implementation plan, and lead negotiations with the government to secure funding for major infrastructure for the area that includes the A38, M6 motorway and A47 Heartlands Spine Road and key employment locations including Star City, the Fort Shopping Park, Fort Dunlop and Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich site.

Key commercial opportunities include the development of the former LDV and Alstom sites at Washwood Heath to create the HS2 Rolling Stock Maintenance Depot and HS2 Network Control Centre 

The development of the 40-acre Wheels speedway site within the Bordesley Park Area Action Plan is listed in the strategy for employment and industrial uses creating up to 3,000 jobs. However, the document indicates it could be 15 years before the site is completed.

The circuit closed in January 2020 after a bizarre dispute about unpaid rent in which Birmingham City Council sued one of its own charitable arms.