400 new jobs set for Longbridge as retailers sign up for town centre

SIX new retailers have signed up to St. Modwen’s Longbridge Town Centre scheme and are preparing to open in time for the busy Christmas shopping period, creating more than 400 jobs.

Well-known household names Boots, Poundland and Mountain Warehouse are taking a total of 17,500 sq ft of space in the new retail units next to Marks & Spencer.

Meanwhile, Longbridge High Street is filling up with new lettings to phones retailer EE, Countrywide Estate Agents and dry cleaning and clothing alteration firm, Tailor Made.

Demand for retail space at the new £100m town centre scheme has soared since Marks & Spencer confirmed it would be opening the vast 150,000 sq ft store, the largest in the Midlands, on the development’s High Street. The store is preparing to open its doors for the first time on November 4; supplying the latest phase of Birmingham’s retail revolution.

By comparison, the Boots outlet at 10,600 sq ft will be slightly more modest, while the Poundland store will be 5,000 sq ft unit and outdoor clothing specialist Mountain Warehouse taking 2,500 sq ft.

Mike Murray, senior development surveyor at St. Modwen, said: “A varied retail offer has always been an integral part of our plans for Longbridge, attracting new visitors, shoppers and jobs to the area.

“Phase One of the Town Centre, with UK favourites including Sainsbury’s, Beefeater, Greggs and Costa Coffee, already attracts around 30,000 shoppers to Longbridge every week – and we are expecting this number to vastly increase with these latest high profile retailers alongside the new Marks & Spencer store.

“We are in talks with a number of other retailers too, so the street scene of the Town Centre will become dramatically different over the coming months.”

He said the Boots, Poundland and Mountain Warehouse stores would broaden the retail offer at Longbridge significantly and were indicative of the growing interest that big brands are showing in the area following St. Modwen’s long term investment in the area.

2016 will also see the developer progress plans for a new cinema, gym, restaurant and café.

Quinton-based St. Modwen has invested £300m into regenerating the former MG Rover site since 2003. In addition to the shopping, 400 new homes have also been created along with shops, eateries, offices, the new Bournville College, Longbridge Technology Park and the new Austin Park.  

As well as the fit-out of the new retail units in the town centre, construction work on a £35m ExtraCare Retirement Village is under way and planning permission has been secured for a major office building called One Park Square that will create hundreds of jobs. Plans have also been approved for a landmark residential facility for military staff working at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) Birmingham, with work due to begin later this year.