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31 Years Of Regeneration Effort Draws To A Close As 800K SF Warehouse Deal Stokes Up The Midland Market

Stoke on trent steel works
Shelton Steel Works at its1960s peak

Politicians love quick regeneration wins and the happy headlines they inspire. But everyone involved in redeveloping brownfield land knows it can take a generation or more to turn a rundown site to better use.

This week St. Modwen has amply proved the point, signing a deal with Tata Steel that clears the way to an 800K SF logistics development.

St. Modwen has purchased the last 46 acres of land at St. Modwen Park Stoke Central, Stoke-on-Trent, from Tata. The deal concludes agreements made with the steel making company nearly 25 years ago and enables the developer to deliver logistics space at the Staffordshire site.

It also brings closer to a conclusion St. Modwen’s even longer 31-year involvement with the regeneration of the site, the former Shelton Iron and Steelworks. The Midlands firm was selected by Stoke City Council to redevelop the site as far back as 1988. The steel works closed in 1978, making this a 41 year journey. A rolling mill continued to operate on the site until 2000.

As well as Stoke Central, over the decades St. Modwen has created the 165-acre Festival Park, a mixed-use business park,and then extended it by another 125 acres when the rolling mill closed.

Festival Park and St. Modwen Park Stoke Central now extend to nearly 290 acres. St. Modwen has delivered more than 1.3M SF of development, including 315K SF of retail, 165K SF of leisure, 455K SF of office space and 376K SF of logistics floorspace.

Now the purchase of the remaining 46 acres from Tata Steel out of the joint venture agreement brings to an end around 180 years of the Iron and Steel Cos.’ association with the site. In its heyday, Shelton Iron and Steelworks employed more than 3,000 people and produced more than 400,000 tonnes of steel each year. 

“Acquiring the final 46 acres from Tata Steel is significant as it’s the culmination of decades of work bringing disused land back to use,” St. Modwen Senior Director Ian Romano said.

“The closure of the steelworks in 1978 was a huge blow to thousands of families in Stoke-on-Trent, but through strategic regeneration and working closely with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, we’ve been able to create a vibrant development that has attracted businesses to the region, creating thousands of employment opportunities across a number of sectors.”