£4m Funding to Support Solihull Council & North Solihull Partnership's Smith's Wood Village Centre Development

Solihull Council, together with North Solihull Partnership is pleased to announce further progress within the Smith's Wood Village Centre development. Residents in Smith's Wood will now be able to see their new community and shopping facilities being constructed at the heart of the new high street.

Through the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), Sigma Inpartnership, via its subsidiary Solihull Inpartnership has secured a £4m funding facility from the GBSLEP's Growing Places Fund. This funding will support the construction of the building, which will comprise of eight new retail units to be occupied by a number of national and local retailers and office accommodation which has been pre let by Solihull Council. The new development is expected to open in spring 2014.

The multi million pound development, part of the North Solihull Regeneration programme, has already seen the construction of a brand new primary school, community facilities, enhanced public realm and a road linking Auckland Drive and Windward Way. A new assisted living scheme and health centre are also being developed. When completed the Smith's Wood Village Centre (previously known as North Arran Way project) will be a showcase for the award-winning North Solihull Regeneration scheme.

Cabinet Member of Economic Development, Councillor Ian Courts said "This a big step forward in the Regeneration of Smith's Wood village centre. I hope local people will be delighted to see their high street emerging, and will join me in welcoming the new retail and community services that this development will create. Together with the improvements in housing, school buildings and the public realm, we have reached a major milestone in increasing local amenities and creating a village centre, which is accessible and welcoming for everyone who visits."

The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership is a partnership of local authorities and businesses set up to drive economic growth, of which Solihull Council is a member. The Growing Places fund aims to provide support to install infrastructure for development projects which have stalled during the recession.

Paul Heaven, GBSLEP Board Director and Chair of the Growing Places Committee, said: "We know that many development projects have stalled as a result of the tightening of finance availability and the Growing Places Fund is an excellent way to get these schemes back on track and construction underway.

"I would urge developers who are having similar problems accessing finance to get in touch with the GBSLEP to see if we can use the Growing Places Fund to get their project moving."

Smith's Wood Village Centre is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.