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Apprentice academy  to be The Hub of new letting for Network Rail

Network Rail has taken 30,000 sq ft on a 10-year lease at IM Properties’ prime industrial and distribution scheme, The Hub in Birmingham, where it will develop a new Rail Structures Brickwork Academy.

The new facility, Hub 30, will provide storage and distribution space for Network Rail’s Design and Civils Delivery Team. In addition, the unit will provide the space to teach young apprentices the unique skills and techniques associated with maintaining its vast portfolio of masonry assets, many of which are heritage structures.

The Hub has been a success story on many levels for IM Properties since it acquired the site 8 years ago, working in partnership with Birmingham City Council to create a space for the new wholesale markets and acting as a testbed for the UK’s first Electricity Cost Neutral Industrial unit (, powered by a Tesla battery and let to Argos Direct.

Richard Sykes development manager for IM Properties said: “We’re actively promoting training & skills in construction on all of our new schemes coming forward, so it is pleasing that Hub 30 will provide Network Rail with the space to conduct training for young people, particularly post-pandemic.

“Being centrally located, just three miles north of the city centre and adjacent to Witton Train station, The Hub is well connected by both road and rail. It fulfils Network Rail’s requirement for connectivity for distribution as well as convenience for employees and apprentices.”

Glen Lamont, property & facilities manager at Network Rail said: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of Hub 30. The new building will provide modern facilities to meet the growing needs of our Internal Brickwork, Design and Civils Delivery team.

“It will also provide much-needed storage space for our heritage brick stocks and equipment, something that has been lacking at our current facility and provide the space required to properly train a new cohort of young apprentices.”

The letting to Network Rail follows one of the most significant industrial lettings in the city during 2020, 100,529 sq ft to one of UPS Healthcare’s key UK operations, Polar Speed, for its new temperature-controlled logistics hub in the Midlands. They join other high profile names TNT, Kitchencraft and Make UK.

The Hub’s agents are the Birmingham offices of CBRE, Darby Keye and Savills.