Investment plan

Oldbury to pave way for West Midlands investment plan

One of the UK’s largest pension groups will invest £4billion in new homes, jobs and regeneration in the West Midlands.

Legal & General has signed a seven-year deal with local government bosses that will see them fund major projects in the region.

The FTSE 100 company, one of the world’s largest asset managers, will support a range of large-scale developments, which may prove beyond the reach of smaller developers.

The first project to receive funding will be The Junction in Oldbury, a brownfield site that has stood idle for over 20 years.

The WMCA said this will provide 234 energy-efficient homes, of which “nearly 50%” will be affordable.

The deal will fund developments providing a minimum of 20% affordable housing and will also use the ‘brownfields first’ approach to reclaim derelict land and ugly sites in the area.

Mayor Andy Street, who signed the deal this week on behalf of the West Mids Combined Authority, said the deal would fund jobs and infrastructure, as well as new buildings.

He said: ‘That’s £4billion to spend over seven years and that very simply means more cranes, diggers, business investment, housing investment across the West Midlands .

“This is unprecedented in its magnitude, and the first time an agreement of this size has been reached between a combined authority and any of these investors.”

Sir Nigel Wilson, CEO of L&G, said deals like this don’t come around very often and it was the first big upgrade deal since the white paper was published in February.

He added that he hoped the deal would be “trailblazing” and that manufacturing investment in the West Midlands, once one of the world’s biggest industrial cities, should be “brought back to life”.