i54 South Staffordshire picks up another award

The i54 South Staffordshire development has picked up further honours at a prestigious annual awards ceremony.

The partnership of City of Wolverhampton Council, Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council and constructors Balfour Beatty scooped the prize for Integration and Collaborative Working, at the West Midlands Constructing Excellence Awards last Friday.

The scheme was also highly commended in the Project of the Year category at the event, held at Birmingham’s ICC.

Head of the West Midlands Constructing Excellence Awards judging panel, Mark Wakeford, said: “The standard of entries was outstanding and it was a hard task deciding the winners.”

Councillor John Reynolds, Wolverhampton City Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “i54 South Staffordshire is a major business development for Wolverhampton and the region and I am delighted everyone’s hard work has been recognised once more. It has been delivered by a unique partnership between the three councils, delivered on time, on budget and sets new standards for British business, engineering and advanced manufacturing. Our joint investment at i54 has secured hundreds of millions of pounds of further investment and has brought thousands of jobs to the area.”

The success of i54, part of the Black Country Enterprise Zone, is the result of hard work and long-term planning by the three different councils - united to stimulate growth, create jobs and make i54 a development with international significance.

Staffordshire County Council and Wolverhampton City Council invested over £40m to build the motorway junction and site infrastructure. The investment will be repaid from future business rates collected from the site by South Staffordshire Council. 

The engineering works, led by the County Council, are the largest civil engineering undertaking in its history.

Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader Mark Winnington said: “i54 South Staffordshire goes from strength to strength and has become a leading regional hub for business and innovation. Our partnership has been recognised nationally for the construction on site – including building a dedicated motorway junction – the first project of its kind carried out by local authorities. Hundreds of people work at i54 and that number continues to grow as business operations expand. We look forward to further development on site in coming months.”

South Staffordshire Council leader Brian Edwards added: “To pick up another award for the i54 South Staffordshire development further demonstrates its success – delivering jobs and growth to Staffordshire and Wolverhampton with more investment to come. Together we have shown how an effective local authority partnership can operate at the highest level, working with Government and global business leaders to achieve so much for our area.” 

Peter Commins, Balfour Beatty Managing Director of the North West Delivery Unit, said: “This award is the culmination of our long history of working in partnership with Wolverhampton City Council, Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council to deliver industry-leading projects.”

The businesses currently operating on site are Jaguar Land Rover, Moog, Eurofins and International Security Printers, representing 2,000 jobs, 1.3 million square feet of floorspace and £600 million of investment.

Extensive work continues to ensure communities and businesses in Wolverhampton and Staffordshire benefit from the development including recruitment and apprenticeship programmes; meet the buyer events to promote supply chain opportunities; and the continued marketing of the remaining land at i54 to prospective occupiers.

In June 2013 the City of Wolverhampton Council, Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council won the MJ Community Investor Award, a national award which recognises the efforts of local authorities to support development in their communities.

Sign up to our newsletter