What is a Strategic
Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI)?

The West Midlands Interchange (WMI) is a new Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SFRI). This is a large multi-purpose freight distribution centre connected to both our rail and strategic road network. The Government supports the creation of a series of SFRIs across the UK, to reduce lorry movements from the roads and transfer them onto the rail network, reducing both road traffic congestion and carbon emissions. Depending on load size, each freight train can remove between 43 and 77 HGVs from the road.

When will the project progress?

From June to December 2021, we are working primarily on pre-construction design and engagement. This will ensure everyone is well prepared for phase 1 and 2 site infrastructure works running from early 2022 to summer 2024. Phase 1 of construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2022. We will continue to provide updates on project timings as the programme is defined.

What are the benefits
of the West Midlands Interchange?

  • In a post Brexit and Covid climate, and supporting a levelling up agenda, the WMI anchors huge international investment in the region, in a project with total capital investment of approximately £1 billion.
  • The project will generate over £680m annually in direct and indirect gross value added, along with £16m in business rates to support the local economy.
  • The WMI will create 8,500 direct, full-time jobs, 40% of which will be higher skilled, offering opportunities for people in South Staffordshire, the Black Country, the West Midlands and surrounding areas, with an additional dedicated employment fund committed as part of the project.
  • It is also estimated that spending will support a further 8,100 indirect and induced jobs in the UK economy through the distribution chain.
  • The project will create two new countryside parks spanning 109 acres of the site.
  • It will contribute to regional and national air quality and carbon reduction targets, as rail freight produces 70% less carbon dioxide, up to 15 times lower nitrogen oxide emissions and nearly 90% lower particulate emissions than road freight.

Who is delivering the West Midlands Interchange project?

The West Midlands Interchange has been taken on as a long-term development project by new owners Oxford Properties Group and Logistics Capital Partners.

Established in 1960, Oxford is a leading global real estate investor, asset manager and business builder. Creating smart, sustainable and healthy communities, its purpose is to deliver economic and social value through real estate, reflecting what matters most for Oxford, its customers, partners and the public. In the UK, Oxford works across the logistics, office, retail, residential and life sciences sectors, building, buying and growing successful operating businesses.

Oxford and its portfolio companies manage nearly £40.5 billion of assets across four continents and eight sectors, on behalf of investment partners. Oxford is owned by OMERS, a Canadian defined benefit pension plan for Ontario's municipal employees.

LCP is a top ranked pan-European logistics development and asset management platform, with offices and projects in 7 countries, including Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, UK, Luxembourg, and Spain.

The group has a strong reputation in build-to-suit projects on behalf of corporate occupiers, with key clients including the likes of Amazon, Kering, and XPO. Currently, LCP has a planned construction pipeline of 19 million sq ft, totalling approximately £2 billion of value, and additionally manages a further 1 million sqm (10 million sq ft) of income producing logistics assets totalling a further £900 million of AUM, all managed on behalf of a range of global institutional capital partners.

Oxford and LCP will jointly develop the WMI, with LCP acting as development manager for the multi-year scheme, to deliver a technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable logistics hub that meets the increasing requirements of occupiers, benefitting the local, regional and national community over the next decade and beyond.

Where is
West Midlands Interchange?

The WMI in South Staffordshire lies on either side of a branch of the West Coast Main Line and is bounded by the A449 to the west and the A5 to the north, where it meets the M6 at Junction 12. It brings the connectivity benefits of the strategic road network and main rail line without the impact of capacity constraints imposed by train numbers and speeds on the main line.

SEE MAP

History of the
project to date

A new SRFI for South Staffordshire, the Black Country and the West Midlands has been outlined in plans since 2004. Since 2016, multiple stages of pre-application consultation and engagement have been undertaken with a range of stakeholders and the wider public. Feedback has been used to inform the evolution of site and project plans, and the development of wider community commitments, including the creation of two substantial new country parks spread across 109 acres of the site. On 4 May 2020, the Secretary of State for Transport approved the Development Consent Order for the project.