Companies moving into the giant i54 business park alongside the M54 will have to pay the cost of a £36 million motorway slip road, it was revealed today.
The new junction is vital to the success of the site, which will be home to a £355 million Jaguar Land Rover engine plant at the i54 between Telford and Wolverhampton, where 750 jobs will be created.
Today it was revealed that the money for the slip roads will come from business rates paid by companies on the site.
Work on a new M54 junction has started with the construction of a new bridge, and will be ready in 2014. It will form part of the existing junction two which currently takes motorists onto the A449.
Companies will pay back the cost of the new junction over the next 14 years.
Wolverhampton and Staffordshire County Councils are paying upfront for the work.
They are benefiting from a rule in the Government’s Enterprise Zones scheme, in which councils are allowed to keep business rates from the companies they attract there for 25 years.
The i54 has been named as an enterprise zone along with four other areas nearby – Gateway Site; vacant land at Wolverhampton Business Park; Lupus and land to the rear of HS Marstons.
There are also enterprise zones in Darlaston, including the former IMI, Charles Richards and Garringtons sites.
Once the £36 million for the slip road has been paid back, there will be a £101.4 million windfall left to spend if the enterprise zones created in Wolverhampton and Darlaston attract enough firms.
A report to Wolverhampton Council says it and Staffordshire Council would receive £5.1 million a year from business rates after the slip road is paid off.
The rest of the windfall would be pooled into a Black Country Investment Fund, which would also benefit councils in Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley.