Work has started on a £3.5m access road to the UK’s first low and zero-emission refuelling station at Tyseley Energy Park (TEP) in south-east Birmingham.
The new road, together with a crossing over the River Cole, will enable HGVs, buses, taxis and vans to access the new low and zero emission refuelling hub from the A45 Small Heath Highway.
The development forms part of the city’s plans to address the reduction of emissions to improve air quality and create a low emission re-fuelling infrastructure.
The construction of the access road will see the creation of more than 135 jobs at companies linked to Tyseley Energy Park.
It is thought it will attract up to five new businesses at the site and generate an increase in investment into Tyseley and the Eastern Corridor between Birmingham and Solihull.
The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has allocated £1.76m of Local Growth Fund investment towards the total cost.
Chris Loughran, deputy chair of GBSLEP, said: “Tyseley Energy Park, located fewer than three miles from Birmingham city centre, will provide companies with better access to fuels that are more environmentally friendly. GBSLEP’s investment reflects our commitment to growing the region’s energy sector, which has real potential to generate new jobs and bring more investment here.
“The new access road is more than just a connection between Small Heath Highway and Tyseley Energy Park. Making this important site easier to reach will help to attract more energy businesses to the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area, create new apprenticeships and training facilities for our young people, and contribute to the future success of our regional economy.”
The 16-acre Tyseley Energy Park is located within the Tyseley Environment Enterprise District, and has been earmarked as one of the West Midlands’ first four Energy Innovation Zones. The Zones’ main focus will be to integrate low carbon technologies to develop the business models and infrastructure needed to support new approaches to clean energy.
The new access road and creation of a low and zero carbon refuelling station will be known as phase 2 of the Tyseley Energy Park development. The facility will be capable of refuelling up to 500 vehicles per day with hydrogen, compressed natural gas and biodiesel fuels, as well as offering rapid electric chargers.
Birmingham City Council will pilot the use of 20 GBSLEP-funded, hydrogen-fuelled buses from March 2019, in a bid to tackle airborne pollution on key bus routes, revolutionising road-based public transport within the city.
David Horsfall, director of Tyseley Energy Park, said: “By working in collaboration with world-class partners, Tyseley Energy Park presents a once in a generation opportunity to deliver green infrastructure that will drive forward change and attract major investment into the Tyseley Environmental Enterprise District.
“We’re excited by the potential of the site, which is set to improve air quality within Birmingham. The low and zero carbon refuelling station being brought forward in this phase of development will form part of a distributed energy system that will be the first of its kind in the UK.”
The total cost of the civils work for the low and zero carbon refuelling station is £3.89m. The remaining £2.13 million has been sourced privately.
Construction of the access road will be completed in December.
David Horsfall (Tyseley Energy Park Board), Chris Loughran (Deputy Chair of the GBSLEP) Sylvia Broadley (Air Quality Manager, Birmingham City Council)