6 August, 2015

Breathing new life into Longbridge

Once synonymous with the car industry, there was a time not so long ago when Longbridge, just south-west of central Birmingham, seemed to be an area that had fallen into terminal decline. But take a visit to the town now and you’ll see a remarkable transformation.

Longbridge is home to one of the UK’s largest regeneration projects – and at the heart of that project you’ll find a huge new M&S store. At 150,000 square foot, the two–storey unit will be the Midlands’ largest M&S store. Shoppers can expect find the very best that we have to offer, including womenswear, beauty, food, menswear, kidswear, home products and a café. The front of our striking new store will boast a living, breathing green wall, which will stay green throughout the year. A six floor multi-storey and 500 space surface car park make it all the more accessible for our employees and customers.

We’re currently busy planning our vacancies so why not register your interest in working for us.

We ask Mark Fruin, the new store manager leading this project, to tell us more:

“Round about Christmas 2015, there’ll be 150,000 sq. ft. more M&S in Longbridge than there was before! This will be a regional centre, and it’ll have all the features you’d expect. So for example – there’s a 250-seat café that includes a heated balcony for a bit of al fresco dining. Plus we’re putting in a Babyworld, a delicatessen bar, a nail bar and the full range of M&S home furnishings.

“But how it looks on the outside is just as important as what’s on the inside. We worked closely with Birmingham City Council’s planning team to design a store that fits in with the architectural ambition of this development and the city in general. So for example, we’re including a ‘green living wall’ (similar to the iconic features in our Cheshire Oaks and Newcastle stores). The planted wall will be irrigated naturally by rain water and will help create a stunning exterior for the store.

“I’m originally from London, but I’ve lived in Bromsgrove for many years – so I’m almost a local! I’ve seen the area change gradually from the old Rover works to the regeneration project we see today, and I’m proud of the role M&S has played at the heart of this community in Longbridge. As a business, we’ve wanted a site like this for years, so everyone is delighted that the West Midlands will have a store of this quality so conveniently sited in South West Birmingham. I just can’t wait to open the doors and welcome the customers – I look forward to seeing you there!”

Inside M&S