Green light for multimillion-pound West Midlands Ambulance Service hub

Stoford Developments is set to begin work on a multimillionpound ambulance service hub for West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) after Sandwell planners approved the scheme.

The 76,000 sq ft hub will be the largest facility of its kind in the country and will see a significant increase in ambulance operational capability for Birmingham and the Black Country.

The project, which will open in time for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, will be used as a staging point for the Trust’s preparations for one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

Once fully open it will house around 350 operational ambulance staff working shifts and replaces a much smaller facility in West Bromwich.

It will include a facility for the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), as well as fleet maintenance and vehicle preparation areas, the Trust’s Education and Training Academy and central stores.

The hub is being built on derelict land off Shidas Road, Oldbury.

Birmingham-based Stoford Developments was appointed by WMAS to deliver the scheme following a competitive tender, with the developer putting forward proposals to build on former quarry and which had been earmarked originally for industrial units.

Trust chief executive Anthony Marsh said: “This is a hugely important development for not only West Midlands Ambulance Service, but also for the people of Birmingham and the Black Country.  It is a significant investment that has taken over two years of work to bring together.  We are delighted to be working in partnership with Stoford Developments to bring this new facility online in time for the Commonwealth Games, an event that will let the world see all that is good about our country’s second city.”

Tony Nash, director at Stoford Developments, said now the planning committee had formally given it the go ahead, he hoped work could start on site this month (April), with an estimated completion date of spring 2022.

“WMAS was looking for a strategic location in the Sandwell or Oldbury area, close to the M5, for its new facility and the land we proposed was ideally situated for its needs,” he said.

“The site has many technical challenges having remained undeveloped for 15yrs and grant funding from West Midlands Combined Authority has made the project viable.

“We’re looking forward to getting started in this national infrastructure project and delivering a facility that achieves BREEAM Excellent in design and construction.”

Stoford Developments has appointed McLean Construction to build the hub, which will also accommodate 365 parking spaces, including ten disabled spaces and 70 ambulance spaces.

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