Left to right: Mike Murray (St Modwen), Michael Adenmosun (Sainsbury’s) and Mark Watkins (St Modwen)
In a press release, Longbridge developers St. Modwen has announced the completion of a deal with Sainsbury’s to construct an 85,000 sq ft store as part of the £1 billion regeneration of Longbridge, in a move which is set to create approximately 400 jobs, underlining the foodstore operator’s role as a major employer in the area.
Located off Longbridge Lane, adjacent to Longbridge Train Station, the Sainsbury’s store will become the retail anchor for the proposed £70 million Longbridge town centre, which includes a total of 165,000 sq ft of retail space – amounting to 24 new shops and restaurants. A planning application for the new building with 475 under croft car parking spaces was submitted to Birmingham City Council in February 2011. Subject to planning consent being granted, construction will commence in summer 2011, with the Sainsbury’s store expected to open to the public by Easter 2013.
Mike Murray, senior development surveyor for St. Modwen, said: “The plans for Longbridge town centre have always envisaged a major foodstore, and to have agreed a deal with Sainsbury’s to fulfil this key requirement at such an early stage in the project is a massive accomplishment.
“The new store is set to boost the local economy with the creation of hundreds of jobs across a range of skill sets; and as there has never been a foodstore of this size located within Longbridge, we expect the new Sainsbury’s will enable the community to enjoy the convenience of being able to shop locally, rather than having to travel out of the area. This in itself has wide-ranging economic and environmental benefits for Longbridge.”
Mr Murray continued: “The store will act as a cornerstone for the retail phase of the town centre, and we anticipate high levels of interest in the remaining retail and leisure space from other potential occupiers following this announcement. To have now secured Sainsbury’s and to have the new Bournville College under construction on the town centre site prove that St. Modwen is forging ahead with the delivery of an extremely important phase of this landmark regeneration scheme, and we continue to move towards the goal of creating up to 10,000 jobs at Longbridge.”
Michael Adenmosun, Sainsbury’s Regional Development Executive, said: “We are pleased to confirm our plans for a new foodstore in Longbridge. The proposed store will create new jobs for local people and bring great food at fair prices to the community of Longbridge. We are looking forward to playing a part in the area’s future economic growth and working with St. Modwen, the community and its representatives to deliver the store.”
Part of the wider regeneration of the former MG Rover car production plan, the plans for the £70 million Longbridge town centre also include an hotel and 40 apartments, together with community space including two acres of public parkland with the newly created Austin Park. Car parking provision is also included within the town centre, along with arrangements for access roads and continued local road improvements.
Advantage West Midlands is currently joint landowner at Longbridge.