Winvic scoops key role on £1bn West Midlands freight interchange

Winvic has won the development partner contract on the proposed GBP1bn railway freight interchange in the West Midlands. Winvic beat other shortlisted bidders, including Sir Robert McAlpine, VolkerFitzpatrick and Buckingham, to the job. The West Midlands Interchange (WMI) will be a 297ha Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) at M6 Junction 12.

The GBP1bn project will offer over 2.4m2 of commercial space. The Pre-Construction Services Agreement (PCSA) role is the first of four phases of the development programme, followed by early enabling works, infrastructure works and vertical unit delivery. The site is one of a number of new SRFIs around the UK designed to enable occupiers to move increasing volumes of freight off UK roads onto the rail network, with one rail freight carriage capable of replacing 44 to 72 HGV, and generating up to 70% less carbon.

The site also boasts a range of other sustainability credentials, including providing 109 acres of country park to protect and promote biodiversity, and a wide range of renewable energy features, as well as providing 8,500 new jobs for the region during its development, construction and operation. The project is being financed and delivered by Oxford Properties, the property arm of Canadian pension fund OMERS, in partnership with European developer Logistics Capital Partners (LCP), who are already working on a 6ha scheme at Heathrow together. They acquired the WMI site in July 2021.

LCP UK construction director Andy Busby said: “We are pleased to welcome Winvic to the delivery team.  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. Winvic director of civils and infrastructure Rob Cook added: “We’re thrilled that Oxford Properties and LCP values 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.”

The development of interchange will include:

  • An intermodal freight terminal with direct connections to the West Coast Main Line, capable of accommodating up to 10 trains per day and trains of up to 775m long including container storage, Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) parking, rail control building and staff facilities
  • Up to 743,200m2 (gross internal area) of rail-served warehousing and ancillary service buildings
  • New road infrastructure and works to the existing road infrastructure
  • Demolition of and alterations to existing structures and earthworks to create development plots and landscape zones
  • Reconfiguring and burying of electricity pylons and cables
  • Strategic landscaping and open space, including alterations to public rights of way and the creation of new ecological enhancement areas and publicly accessible open areas.

The scheme was granted planning permission in May 2020.

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