IM Properties Launches £350,000 Community Fund For Mercia Park
IM Properties (IMP) has launched a £350,000 community fund to help local projects surrounding the new Mercia Park employment scheme.
The Mercia Park Community Fund will be managed by Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation and will typically offer grants of up to £5,000 primarily to projects which strengthen communities or improve the natural environment.
Mercia Park is a high-quality 238-acre employment park being created by IM Properties at Junction 11 of the M42 in northwest Leicestershire. The scheme will include a new 2.94 million sq ft global parts logistics centre for Jaguar Land Rover and a 450,000 sq ft sustainable logistics hub for freight forwarder DSV. It is estimated that over the longer term the employment park will support up to 3,400 jobs.
The £350,000 Community Fund will be split over the three-years while the scheme is being constructed. It is anticipated that grants will be awarded on a six-monthly basis by a panel made up of representatives from the local parish councils, North West Leicestershire District Council, Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, IMP and Winvic Construction.
The grants of between £2,000 and £5,000 will be available for 12-month projects and £3,000 grants will be on offer to help existing community projects with their operating costs for up to three years. Larger grants of £10,000 will be available in exceptional circumstances to projects which meet specific criteria.
Applications are now open, and a series of surgeries will be held to help local community groups apply for the funding.
David Smith planning director at IMP said: “As a company, we are committed to a programme of Social Value and delivering both social and economic benefits to the local community. In the current climate, the grants may also offer a welcome boost to local organisations set up to offer support as result of the coronavirus crisis.
“The substantial Community Fund, as well as the creation of a significant number of jobs at Mercia Park, alongside an Employment Scheme will seek to deliver opportunity to individuals and businesses, aiming to leave a lasting legacy for everyone.”
Katy Green, chief executive at Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be working with IM Properties on the Mercia Park Community Fund and hope local community groups will take the opportunity to apply for a share of the £350,000 available. Full details of the criteria and how to apply for the first round of grants can be found on our website.”
A separate community fund launched by IMP ahead of its development of its Peddimore manufacturing and logistics park in Birmingham has already helped 14 projects in its first year. Since January 2019, local groups have benefited from grants totalling around £24,000. The Peddimore Community Fund is giving away a total of £270,000 to projects over six years as part of an extensive Social Value programme.
For more information about the Mercia Park Community Fund or to apply, please visit: https://www.llrcommunityfoundation.org.uk/apply-for-funds/mercia-park-community-fund-open/
IM Properties is set to begin construction of Mercia Park and its appointed contractor, Winvic Construction, will be on site from 18 May 2020 to commence site works.
The initial first phase of work will involve earthwork excavation, ground remodelling, site infrastructure, drainage, and preparing the development’s main building plots.
With the health and wellbeing of its people and local communities near its sites of paramount importance, IM Properties and Winvic has implemented and will be regularly reviewing appropriate safety measures on site in line with Government and Public Health England guidance on Covid-19.
The nature of the first phase of earth moving and infrastructure works together with the scale of the site will ensure that all teams will be able to strictly adhere to the recommended measures on social distancing.
Reducing HGV movements
Among the aims of the first phase of work on site involving earthwork excavations is to transport as little excavated material from the site, as possible as part of a commitment to reducing HGV movements on local roads.
The material that is moved will help to create the many ‘bunds’, or mounds, that will help to screen the buildings along with a planting scheme that will be delivered later in a comprehensive manner.
With the start of construction marking an important milestone for the project, IM Properties has produced a community newsletter to help keep local communities and stakeholders updated about the project. A copy of this is available to download here.
IM Properties (IMP) has secured planning to create a new global parts logistics centre for Jaguar Land Rover and help retain the automotive company’s aftermarket parts business in the UK.
The proposed new 2.94 million sq ft campus at junction 11, M42, will put North West Leicestershire right at the heart of Jaguar Land Rover’s global aftermarket business and enable it to evolve and grow the company, maintaining its competitiveness in a challenging global marketplace.
The new facility, which will service 80 countries, will provide a major boost to the local economy, enabling Jaguar Land Rover to sustain and create jobs, both in its business and its supply chain, with 1200 positions required from day one and 3000 forecast by 2030.
David Smith, planning director from IM Properties said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured permission for such an important new global facility for Jaguar Land Rover, which will ensure the company’s long-term commitment to the UK. It is the culmination of our team’s considerable efforts to date”.
Kevin Ashfield UK development director at IM Properties said, “Agreeing to a 20-year lease shows a huge commitment and the company’s investment will contribute an additional £139 million GVA per year to the local economy.”
The site will allow Jaguar Land Rover to integrate its separate Jaguar and Land Rover operations into one single common logistics platform, which will in turn lead to a more efficient and sustainable supply chain.
Kevin added: “Jaguar Land Rover stated at committee that this is the only site that can do the job, due to the bespoke set of requirements and that the benefits that the planning application would be significant.
“We are now focussed on delivering this facility and creating a high quality, sustainable scheme and great place to work, with long lasting socio-economic benefits for the local area, drawing on our experience of designing, building and operating successful business parks across the Midlands, including continuing dialogue with our adjoining communities and the launch of our Community Fund.”
A transport strategy will also be introduced to minimise impact on local roads and improve accessibility to the site, with extensive landscaping including planting of over 30,000 trees, creating up to 30 acres of new woodland and recreational paths, cycleways and wetland feature
Jaguar Land Rover believes that once in operation the new facility, which consolidates 10 existing sites, will reduce freight movements on its network by 25% with linked reductions in HGV miles, energy, fuel and carbon emissions.
IMP is one of the UK’s largest privately-owned property companies and a significant investor in the region and in particular on the M42 corridor with existing schemes including Birch Coppice, Blythe Valley Park and Fore Business Park, where its new £30m state-of-the-art headquarters are based.
Planning was also recently gained on Peddimore, one of the UK’s most significant new manufacturing and logistics locations, which is soon to launch 1.38 million sq ft of employment space and is already delivering a significant Social Value programme to benefit the local community.