Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who chairs the WMCA, was given a tour of the new Park Sheet Metal base at Bermuda Business Park in Coventry to see first-hand how WMCA funding is helping to kick-start new commercial developments and bring former industrial land back into use.
The WMCA used its Collective Investment Fund to support developer Warmflame Developments Ltd in providing the premises for Park Sheet Metal to expand its operations into.
The Mayor’s visit comes hard on the heels of his appearance at the Conservative Party Conference last week during which he unveiled his vision of supercharging the West Midlands automotive industry, creating an additional 20,000 jobs.
Coventry-based Park Sheet Metal, which was founded in 1947, supplies niche car makers including Aston Martin, Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover.
The Mayor said:
“The West Midlands is long established as the home of the UK’s automotive sector, but now it is time to take that to the next level and become a global leader.
“We can do that by investing in state-of-the-art battery technology and create an automotive cluster that features innovation centres, research centres and production plants.
“That will help our region’s automotive parts companies - like Park Sheet Metal - to grow and thrive.
“So it’s great to come here and see how WMCA money is helping developers like Warmflame get stalled schemes up and running to provide high quality and much-needed commercial premises for companies like Park Sheet Metal.”
Mark Barge of Park Sheet Metal Ltd added:
“We have ambitious plans to grow our business and it has been a key focus to secure an additional site for our warehousing and distribution. We are happy to have now secured a quality site in a good location.”
The unit in Harrington Way, was redeveloped by Warmflame after it acquired the premises from Milsco earlier this year. The newly renovated unit has brought 0.74 acres of brownfield land back into use.
Paul Hodge, managing director of Warmflame Developments, said:
"Warmflame Developments has formed a best in class team to focus on the small-to-mid box industrial development space.
“The subject building was a great opportunity to showcase our abilities undertaking a high-quality refurbishment in a short period, bringing the building back up to institutional standard and seeing it through into its next operational cycle.
“Warmflame let the building within three months of finishing the refurbishment and we hope Park Sheet Metal will be happy in their new home."
Redevelopment of the unit and its subsequent ten-year lease to Park Sheet Metal means employment is anticipated to increase in the area as the company continues to grow. The unit had been vacant since former occupiers, US based Milsco, closed their UK operation.
Frontier Development Capital Ltd provided access to the £2.4m WMCA funding.
Its investment director Gerald Gannaway said:
“This building is in a prime commercial location, and the modernisation undertaken by Warmflame has attracted a quality tenant in Park Sheet Metal, joining a number of major national occupiers.
“WMCA funding has brought forward this refurbishment project, transforming a void building that had become tired, into one now fit for purpose. This reflects the overall aims of the Collective Investment Fund, accelerating commercial property developments and job opportunities within the West Midlands area."
Article credit: West Midlands Combined Authority