The progress on a £32million development project in Lichfield has been hailed as “fantastic”. The Lichfield Park scheme plans to create 1,000 new jobs and the development has already seen the demolition of a railway bridge over the West Coast Main Line as initial work to improve links to the site progress. The project is the first in Staffordshire to take advantage of an £82million Government growth funding pot. Work has progressed on the development, which has been the subject of a lengthy battle with local Streethay residents. There was also criticism after it was revealed the work would see the temporary closure of the rear car park at Lichfield Trent Valley station – less than a year after it opened. But the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SSLEP), which is drawing up the projects to benefit from the funding, says the progress has been swift and will provide benefits for the area’s economy. David Frost, chairman of the SSLEP, said: “Our priority is delivering not just more jobs, but better quality jobs for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and it is fantastic to see our first growth deal project taking shape so quickly. “To support the scheme, improvements to the road network on to the site, including replacing the road bridge over the West Coast Main Line, are being rolled out.” A new bridge will eventually be installed in a bid to improve the industrial and warehouse development’s connections with the A38. Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Environment & Transport, Cllr Mark Winnington, said: “We have an excellent track record of working with both public and private sector partners to deliver new jobs and opportunities for Staffordshire residents and the fact this scheme has got off the ground so quickly is a great example of how well this partnership can work. “Lichfield Park is the first deal to get off the ground and we expect the scheme to create over 1,000 jobs which will be a significant boost for the area and the county.” The West Coast Main Line bridge removal took place over the Christmas, although some residents living near the work were critical of the noise disruption. The next phase will take place during the Spring and will see the first of 12 concrete beams lifted into place for the new 26 metre bridge.