Walsall Property Investment Guide

A town centre with a focus on a diverse economy

Walsall is 8 miles from Birmingham, 6 miles from Wolverhampton, and, two hours outside of London.

At the 2011 census, the town had a population of 67,594 with the wider borough having a population of 269,323.

In 2015, Walsall was considered to have the fifth fastest growing economy in the UK. This information was based off the towns GVA, which had seen a 20% growth.

The town has a regeneration aim that Walsall Town Centre should be at the forefront of achieving a diverse economy as it provides the focus for new jobs in the service sector including finance, IT and other business activities brought to it through the delivery of new public realm, office space and housing, It is well on the way to achieving its aim.

The design utilises the canal-side location with the incorporation of ‘wave-form’ buildings and ripple paving. Along with a new pedestrian bridge over the canal, improvements to the tow-path will provide a safe and attractive pedestrian link between the town centre and the Manor Hospital.

Property in Walsall is excellent value. The overall sold prices in Walsall over the last year were 25% lower than the West Midlands average and have seen an increase of around 6% in 2007. The 2011 Census saw 10.6% of the population privately renting. With the regeneration, it is likely this will grow.

Projects completed in the last few years include Walsall Manor Hospital redevelopment worth £174 million, the new Walsall College worth £65 million and the St. Matthew’s Quarter which will be the new town centre, is worth more than £25 million.

Phase One of the St. Matthews’s Quarter, was complete is 2007 and featured one of the largest town centre Asda supermarkets with 1,000 car parking spaces. The second phase is due to be complete in spring 2017. Built within this will be 55,000 sq ft of retail space. 

A big project slightly out of the town is near the Bloxwich area. This ten-year plan will have much improved environmental works and aims to sort out traffic and parking in the area. The regeneration will also be enlarging the supermarket, remodelling estates and completely relocating the Bloxwich rail station.

For more information download a free Walsall Property Investment Guide.

Economy & Employment

Walsall has a high amount of skilled trades workers and high amounts of full-time employees.

In Walsall, the percentage of full-time employees is 35% and self-employed 7%. The amount of professionals is at 12% and the amount of senior officials is 9%. The highest percentage of employment is skilled trades occupations, which is 13% of Walsall.

The local council is a major employer in Walsall, with over 10,000 members of staff.

The RAC employs over 3600 staff from three sites, the main control centre is located in Walsall close to the M6 and there are now plans to redevelop derelict land in nearby Darlaston and turn it into a state-of-the-art regional centre.

Between Bloxwich and Walsall there is a business corridor. Currently established businesses include Homeserve plc with around 1,100 staff and South Staffordshire Water who employ over 2,000 staff.

Specialist engineering firm Boltight is one of a number of small manufacturing firms carving out a niche in a global market.  It is currently expanding its operations to meet the growing demand for its specialist hydraulic bolt tensioning tools from the oil and gas, power generation and industrial engineering industries.

For more information download a free Walsall Property Investment Guide. 

Investment

Walsall has several multi-million investment projects in the town centre.

The Waterfront project is a £65m development which will transform 17 acres of derelict land around Town Wharf and the canal arm into an exciting ‘waterside quarter’ as part of a revitalised town centre. When complete it is expected that around 700 new jobs will have been created.

Anchored by the iconic New Art Gallery, Waterfront will be a vibrant, high-quality mixed-use development. It is expected to feature more than 650 new sustainable designer homes, 15,000 sq.m offices, café-bars and restaurants, alongside leisure and cultural facilities, public artworks, and new bridges and basins.

Projects completed in the last few years include Walsall Manor Hospital redevelopment worth £174 million, and the St. Matthew’s Quarter which will be the new town centre, is worth more than £25 million.

Phase One of the St. Matthew’s Quarter, was complete is 2007.

The second phase is due to be complete in spring 2017. Built within this will be 55,000 sq ft of retail space.

The Waterfront Lex development is a 2.21 acres site, for mixed-use development, which now has a new cinema and a hotel.

Education

The Metropolitan Borough of Walsall is home to forty primary, twenty secondary, seven special and six independent schools and one college.

In March 2013, Walsall College achieved an overall Outstanding grade in an Ofsted inspection, in doing so became the first college of its size in the UK to achieve this grading under the new Ofsted framework.

Further and Higher Education: Walsall College is the largest provider of qualifications, delivered both at the college campuses and on-site at workplaces and community centres. Campuses of the college include the main Wisemore Campus and the Green Lane campus which offers engineering and construction courses. Courses offered include GCSE’s, NVQs, BTECs, Diplomas, Apprenticeships and Access courses. They also offer vocational courses through a series of academies which include a gym, hair and beauty salon and restaurant, all are staffed by students. These are run in partnership with businesses including Microsoft, Apple, Francesco Group and Roland DG.

Both in the commutable distance are the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Birmingham. The University of Birmingham is ranked 15th in the top universities in the UK and teaches over 34,000 students including post and undergraduates.

Shops & Leisure

Shopping & Dining: The Saddler’s Centre is a modern shopping complex housing brand stores. Part of Park Street the town’s main shopping area was redeveloped and St Matthew’s Quarters is currently under regeneration when completed will include brand shops, cafés/restaurants and modern apartments.

Sport & Culture: Walsall’s football club Walsall FC is in League One and came 3rd in the most recent season. There is also a cricket club and a rugby union team.

Walsall has plenty of cultures to explore, from the Victorian Arboretum park to the New Art Gallery and a Woodlands Adventure and Outdoor Learning centre.

Green Spaces: Walsall Arboretum is a Victorian Park located close to the town centre. Part of the park and surrounding housing are covered by the Arboretum conservation area. The park started a major restoration project in 2012 funded largely by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

About the Author

Brett has over 20 years experience in all facets of property, he owns various companies centred around property and is the driving force behind the education and training at Gladfish. His companies have sold over £850 million in UK and London property and he manages over 1200 properties through his estate agency chain. Today he shares his time between UK, Australia and Singapore. He is married to Arlene and together they have 4 kids.

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