West Midlands Interchange Update

A year since the project changed hands, there is movement on the West Midlands Interchange (WMI), a designated Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) located in South Staffordshire, in the middle of the so-called logistics golden triangle. The new Strategic Rail Freight Interchange will sit adjacent to the West Coast Main Line and span 300 hectares.

With an eye to the fast-developing UK rail-connected logistics sector, the multinational real estate arm of the Canadian pension fund OMERS partnered with an unnamed global investor just under a year ago, aiming to build a five billion pound (5.94 billon euro) European logistics portfolio.

Warehousing shortage in the UK

The London and Bristol-based Copper Consultancy has Been working on delivering consultation and engagement services to support the Development Consent Order (DCO), as well as communications and support building. The site is one of the biggest projected logistics parks in the UK and will go some way to addressing the warehousing shortage so often, proving a concern for trade in the UK.

The location of the projected West Midlands Interchange (OpenStreetMap)

As one of Europe’s largest new logistics development sites, West Midlands Interchange (WMI) will provide a 734 acre (300 hectares) Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) at M6 Junction 12, between Cannock and Telford, just north of Wolverhampton. Progress has been made with the appointment of Winvic Construction Ltd as the design stage delivery partner. The company has extensive experience in the field and is actively delivering similar logistics projects around the UK.

8,500 jobs regionally

The developers say the project will offer over eight million square feet (754,000 square metres) of commercial space, supported by a dedicated intermodal rail hub. The Pre-Construction Services Agreement (PCSA) role is the first of four phases of our development programme, followed by early enabling works, infrastructure works and vertical unit delivery. The site is also intended to provide sustainability credentials, including a community park and biodiversity protection. The developers are confident of delivering 8,500 new jobs for the region “during its development, construction and operation.”

Archaeological works are already underway on site at West Midlands Interchange (Copper)

“We are pleased to welcome Winvic to the delivery team”, said Andy Busby, UK Construction Director at Logistics Capital Partners, part of the development consortium. “They bring extensive experience constructing large-scale complex logistics projects like this and demonstrated a clear understanding of the leading approach we want to take to sustainable design, cutting edge automation, and lasting economic and social impact for the region.”

Warehouses next year, rail terminal to follow

The developers, London Capital Partners, are eager to deliver logistics units as early as next year. However, the timescale for delivery of the rail terminal at West Midlands Interchange is still unclear and unlikely to be as soon.

“Winvic’s sustainability credentials and experience in designing and constructing similar schemes, as well as our commitment to community and stakeholder collaboration”, said Rob Cook, Winvic’s Director of Civils and Infrastructure. “We can draw on our extensive project knowledge and assemble a skilful team to meet requirements, find innovative efficiencies and ultimately deliver the design stage output in a considered and forward-thinking way.”

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

2 comments op “West Midlands Interchange Update”

Neil Franklin|19.07.22|16:37

Hi Simon,

How likely is the rail part of this likely to happen when the government can’t even electrify the last mile to our docks, confirm the Ely upgrade will go ahead or commit to East West Rail. What chance have we got while the government and the treasury are anti rail. Sad but true.

It must make it very difficult reporting on the railways in an upbeat manner.

Best wishes.

Neil Franklin

bönström bönström|19.07.22|20:06

Yes, but primarily, what is current Goal of England/Scotland, for a timely on shore feeding the ports, gates of Nation, for benefitting the big, unique advantage?
(Hemisphere needs and is missing an offshore hub, like Singapore…)
Regardless of Brexit, benefitting of nearness, should remain Goal. For that, but anyhow, an upgraded, a timely, a sustainable, resilient, a New Old Railway, urgently is requested, and hereby suggested.A shift is needed!
(Electrification, yes, but a timely, etc., etc.)

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