St Modwen has completed a 46-acre land deal with Tata Steel, the final piece in a jigsaw that began nearly 25 years ago.

800,000 sq ft of industrial and logistics space will be developed, with the land being the final plot at St Modwen Park Stoke Central.

Ian Romano, St Modwen’s senior director for development, said: “Acquiring the final 46-acres from Tata Steel is significant as it’s the culmination of decades of work bringing disused land back to use.

“The closure of the steelworks in 1978 was a huge blow to thousands of families in Stoke-on-Trent, but through strategic regeneration and working closely with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, we’ve been able to create a vibrant development that has attracted businesses to the region, creating thousands of employment opportunities across a number of sectors.”

St Modwen was selected by Stoke-on-Trent City Council to regenerate part of the former Shelton Iron and Steelworks site in 1988, following the 1986 National Garden Festival.

The 165-acre Garden Festival was created after steel production ended at Shelton Works after nearly 140 years in 1978.

St Modwen developed the first 165 acres, named Festival Park, into a mixed-use business park in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent. The remainder of the Shelton Works site continued to be used as a major Rolling Mill until 2000.

As use of the Steel site declined, St. Modwen entered into a Joint Venture with British Steel in 1996 to regenerate a further 30 acres of redundant Steel Works land. Following the closure of the Rolling Mill in 2002, a second agreement was made for the remaining land on the 125-acre site, as an extension of Festival Park.

Andy Pickford, director of property at Tata Steel, added: “We’re pleased to have worked with St. Modwen over the years and to have supported the revitalisation of a major steel works site that ceased to meet current economic demands.

“St Modwen and the Council have attracted a number of great businesses to the area and have created more jobs than the steelworks had in its heyday. All credit goes to them for turning this site around.”

Original article taken from the Business Desk. Image provided by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.