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Birmingham Post

US firm Waters Corporation plans Birmingham move

A US life sciences manufacturing company is planning to open a new base in Birmingham which could create 100 jobs.

Massachusetts-based Waters Corporation, which specialises in analytical instruments and software and has more than 7,800 employees worldwide, has struck a deal to launch a new 45,000 sq ft centre in Longbridge.

A planning application has been lodged with the city council for a facility on the planned new 'West Longbridge Business Park' which is being developed in phases opposite the existing Longbridge Technology Park next to the A38.

If consented, the building will deliver a 300 per cent increase in available space compared with Waters' existing premises in Solihull and allow for increased precision manufacturing capacity and capabilities.

The company will join the new IVC Evidensia veterinary hospital and research facility on the business park and on which work has recently started.

Waters' site director Adrian Capes said: "We are really excited to progress with this application that represents a significant investment for our business.

"After carefully considering a range of options throughout the West Midlands, we felt that Longbridge provided the perfect environment to meet our immediate business objectives as well as those for the next decade and beyond.

"We are very much looking forward to a long-term future for Waters at Longbridge."

West Longbridge Business Park is being built on the site of the former MG Rover West Works factory which is the last remaining plot of the giant former car plant, the majority of which closed after the manufacturer went into administration in 2005.

Regeneration specialist St Modwen, which is leading the scheme, estimates the park will create 5,000 new jobs, with work on access roads and landscaping already under way following £20 million of infrastructure investment in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The listed company, which is also headquartered in Longbridge, has been carrying out a £1 billion, long-running regeneration of the town which has already seen a new hotel, Sainsbury's, retail space and Bournville College open.

Development director Elliot Sellars said: "The proposed new facility for Waters would deliver further expertise in this specialist area that is developing here at Longbridge.

"It's encouraging that globally recognised, scientific organisations are seeing the potential that West Longbridge has to offer in terms of attracting talented staff and the benefits of the location geographically.

"Interest in opportunities at Longbridge are gaining momentum from businesses here in the West Midlands and also throughout the world which bodes well for the future."

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: "This latest planning application for the ongoing regeneration of Longbridge maintains the momentum of this exciting project that is delivering opportunities locally, regionally and nationally.

"It's pleasing that the combined authority has been able to contribute to the ongoing development that is positively impacting Longbridge today and creating a legacy for future generations."