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Oxford Properties’ West Midlands Interchange (WMI) site, which is set to launch in 2023, could create around 8,500 new jobs.

Work is set to begin shortly on the project, after Oxford Properties and its partner Logistics Capital Partners (LCP), announced the appointment of Winvic Construction to design and build the scheme.

The £1bn, 734-acre WMI Strategic Rail Freight Interchange project, located at junction 12 of the M6, will offer over 8m sq ft of commercial space.

Units will range from 200,000 to 1.2m sq ft, all supported by their own dedicated rail hub enabling multi-modal movement of goods around the UK.

The site is one of a number of new strategic rail freight interchanges around the UK designed to enable occupiers to move increasing volumes of freight off the UK’s roads onto the rail network, with one rail freight carriage capable of replacing 44 to 72 HGVs, and generating up to 70% less carbon.

WMI will also boast a range of other sustainability credentials, including providing 109 acres of country park and a wide range of renewable energy features.

It will also create around 8,500 new jobs for the region during its development, construction and operation, according to the owners.

James Boadle, head of logistics and residential, Europe, at Oxford Properties, said: “It’s an important milestone for the project, as we begin delivery in earnest, having spent Q3 and Q4 of 2021 preparing the site and building a collaborative approach with key partners including the local community, South Staffordshire District Council and Staffordshire County Council. With huge demand in the logistics market, we are keen to have a first offering ready in 2023.”

Andy Busby, LCP UK construction director welcomed Winvic’s appointment to the team. He added: “They bring extensive experience of 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.”

Rob Cook, Winvic’s director of civils and infrastructure said: “We’re thrilled that Oxford Properties and LCP value Winvic’s sustainability credentials and experience in designing and constructing similar schemes, as well as our commitment to community and stakeholder collaboration. As the leading main contractor in the UK for delivering complex Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) projects, we’re able to 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.”