Golden chance for Ansty park to challenge Frisco
The first step towards the creation of what is being hailed as the West Midlands' answer to San Francisco's famous Golden Triangle of research and development has taken place.
Land at the 100-acre Ansty Park UK site in Coventry has been officially handed over by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands to developers Highbridge Properties and telecommunications company Ericsson.
Ericsson will be the first occupants at the site, locating its research and development base there.
The site was officially handed over by new Advantage West Midlands chief executive Mick Laverty and will be the first of a series of new occupants at the site.
Eventually, Ansty Park is expected to become home to more than 5,000 high technology-based jobs with a total investment of around £500 million.
Mr Laverty said: "The Ansty site is one that has been in our ownership for many years and a great deal of work has taken place in order to get to this vital stage.
"When Advantage West Midlands inherited the site back in the late 1990s, the intention was for it to become the home to a single occupant.
"Changing international trends, however, have meant a change of plan and we are now working towards securing a number of smaller high-value added occupants.
"Undoubtedly, the easiest - and fastest - option would have been to use the site for distribution where there is strong demand and it would be fair to say we could have filled this site many, many times over with these types of use.
"But Advantage West Midlands and our partners in the area have remained strong in our conviction that Ansty Park offers a golden opportunity, not just for the Coventry and Warwickshire but for the wider region, as a centre of technology and research and development to rival even the great San Francisco Golden Triangle.
"I am delighted that we have now been in a position to hand over the first piece of the development to Highbridge and Ericsson and are confident this will be the first in a series of announcements that will see Ansty becoming an established centre of activity over the next 12 months."
Guy Marsden, director at Highbridge Properties, said: "This is another major development site for us, following our successful developments elsewhere in the UK of Cobalt Park, Newcastle Business Park and Sherwood Park.
"We are delighted that Ansty is anchored by Ericsson, and we look forward to further developing this hi-tech business park.
"The letting to Ericsson establishes Ansty Business Park as an international location in the West Midlands, with a highly skilled and flexible workforce combined with world-class accommodation and transport infrastructure, with six major motorways within a 20 mile radius and an international airport, that makes it easily accessible. "Ansty will be developed in phases and will focus on sustainability."