Sprawling Cradley Heath factory site set to be turned into eco-friendly technology hub

First published in News

A SPRAWLING factory plant in Cradley Heath is set to be transformed into a technology hub for eco-friendly businesses.

John Parry, founder of Parry People Movers, wants his Overend Road headquarters to be an international showcase centre for cutting edge technology.

The hectare site has its own mini-railway and after John Parry sold Parry Associates to Glendenning Plastic Mouldings in Stourbridge there is space for new businesses.

Mr Parry said: "I want this part of Cradley Heath to be a hub for new and eco-friendly businesses which will act as both host and incubator to small traders involved in sustainable activities.

"It will be a unique technology showcase of building systems devised for international aid agencies official bodies, such as the Department for International Development and for international agencies."

Several of Mr Parry's inventions, included light-weight bricks and anti-flooding panels, are already being used in Africa, South and South East Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.

He said: "The businesses will be linked by a narrow gauge railway on site which itself pioneers technology now in service on Britain's rail network, the showcase, as well as a training facility of interest to industry and academia, will include a potential visitor centre.

"We want to exploit this site commercially so it is an incubator of micro enterprises within a prevailing theme of livelihood creation and environmental and economic sustainability, together with a centre for research and development."

He added: "We have a really unique site here which I believe can be the start of something really special for Black Country industry, there is a lot of great stuff going on and we need to showcase it to the world."

Parry People Movers will use 50 per cent of the office accommodation and 25 per cent of the works and the company will offer consulting and management services tenants.

Other Parry associate businesses including Parry Environmental, Long Life Cars, Intermediate Technology Innovation and Intermediate Technology Workshops Ltd will be part of the new scheme.

Due to the nature of the enterprise Mr Parry will be investigating local, national and international grants will be applied for and latest budget figures forcasted for the showcase site is £819,000.

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