Thousands of new jobs a step closer as contractor appointed to major scheme

Luna Ruth

The Urban Growth Company (UGC) has appointed VINCI Construction UK as its design and build contractor for two major new multi-storey car parks on the outskirts of Solihull in the West Midlands.

The car parks will be next to the new HS2 Interchange Station at Arden Cross, a new 140-hectare (346 acre) mixed-use scheme comprising business, leisure, education, medical, technology and residential uses.

Between 4,500 and 7,000 multi-storey spaces will be provided which will be used by HS2 passengers and, over time, those visiting Arden Cross.

The 13-month contract marks the start of the UGC’s plan to deliver multi-storey car parking in time for the planned opening of HS2 between 2029 and 2033.

Alongside VINCI, additional planning and architectural design support will be provided by Cundall, Associated Architects and Fira.

The contract was awarded via the Pagabo framework following a competitive procurement process.

The consolidation of spaces into a multi-storey format is a key part of the Arden Cross masterplan and will release about 30 hectares of land, paving the way to create thousands of new jobs and homes up to three years earlier than originally planned.

It follows an announcement last year that central government would provide a grant of £50m, alongside a £45m loan from the West Midlands Combined Authority, to fund the project.

The appointed team has already consulted with the local community and other stakeholders about the early design and landscaping possibilities for the car parks. Responses to the initial consultation are currently being assessed before a second round of consultation to seek further feedback is undertaken in May.

The planning application will then be submitted to Solihull Council as the local planning authority this July, with a decision expected by December 2022.

Sue Barrett, chief operating officer at the UGC, said: “VINCI has a proven track record in designing and building large multi-storey car parks, coupled with a commitment to work with us to deliver meaningful social value activities in Solihull.

“This project is about so much more than a car park – it’s about working in partnership across the public and private sectors to agree an alternative proposal which delivers the full economic, social and environmental benefits we know to be possible here at what is going to be one of the best-connected locations in Europe.

Andrew Astley, regional director at VINCI said: “We are delighted to be working with the UGC and the wider stakeholder team on such an important piece of major infrastructure that will support HS2 and substantially enhance the experience for commuters and visitors to Arden Cross. We are also working in collaboration with the UGC to maximise the social return on investment for the local area.”

Thousands of new jobs a step closer as contractor appointed to major scheme

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