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Our city and region is ready for you and your business. Explore this snapshot to find out why.

Connected city


Connected city

We have regional, national, European and global connections. To keep us ahead £1.3 billion will be invested in our networks by 2015.

Easy access to 400 million people across Europe

90% of UK consumers are within four hours travel time

High Speed 2 rail  – London in less than 45 minutes 

50 airlines serving more than 140 routes worldwide

Multi-sector strengths


Multi-sector strengths

Our talented people use their skills and expertise across a range of key sectors.

60% of the UK’s automotive R&D from the region

More BPFS companies than Zurich, Manchester and Edinburgh

23,700 people in architecture and engineering

500 medical technology companies, more than any other UK region

Space to breathe


Space to breathe

Birmingham was voted best UK city outside of London for quality of life (Mercer Quality of Living 2012).

With more than 600 parks and open spaces and Sutton Park as one of the largest urban parks in Europe there is always space to breathe

Slow down. Explore more miles of canal than Venice

Secure future - 10 Local Nature Reserves and 156 designated nature conservation sites

World class city of culture


World class city of culture

Indoors, outdoors, participate, watch or find space and quiet to get away from it all. You will always be able to relax and unwind.

Birmingham was ranked among the New York Times’ top 20 international destinations to visit.

Explore cuisine from more than 27 countries and dine in more Michelin star restaurants than any other English city outside London

More than 500,000 works of art in one square mile

High quality workforce


High quality workforce

Our large talent pool is highly ranked now. It will stay that way.

4.3 million people of working age within an hour of the city

Over 300,000 students and 100,000 graduates within an hour’s drive of the city

A digital hub - for example 21% of the UK's games industry workforce is here

Nearly 1 million people speak a second language

Growth engine


Growth engine

Our £94 billion regional economy will grow 20% by 2020

Innovative economic zones generating £1.5bn and 50,000 new jobs

Home to 75,000 companies, 1,190 of which are international

Our population will grow to 1.17million by 2018 (ONS)

Birmingham New Street helps move nearly 25million passengers annually

Europe's youngest city, with under 25's nearly 40% of our population

Bold regeneration


Bold regeneration

We are investing £18 billion by 2026 in a bold 21st Century regeneration plan.

£1.3 billion will be invested in road, rail and air networks by 2015

£25 million is going in to the Digital Media Academy and £188 million on the new Library of Birmingham

£600 million redevelopment of New Street Station is underway

Arden Cross at UK Central to offer world class development opportunity

Audiences at MIPIM 2016 have been the first to see plans for Arden Cross, a landmark development site identified as the location for the High Speed Rail Interchange Station.

The best connected strategic development site in the UK, Arden Cross covers some 350 acres (140 hectares) and will provide exceptional access to both national and international locations through its position adjacent to Birmingham Airport, Birmingham International Railway Station and the national motorway network.

Masterplanned for the delivery of truly mixed-use development, the site can accommodate up to 2.65 million sq ft (246,000 sq m) of high quality commercial space suitable for domestic and overseas occupiers, more than 2,000 new homes and a combination of complementary retail and leisure amenities, all set around the HS2 Interchange Station.

An important element of the HS2 development, the Interchange Station will be the first stop on the line outside London, forming a central node of the national high speed rail project with unparalleled links to the UK’s major cities and an estimated 21,000 passengers a day using the station in 2026.

Situated on Junction 6 of the M42, the site will become a strategic destination for corporate occupiers, a hub for multiple forms of travel, and will offer connected living for residents who will benefit from the ambitious mixes use development and the unrivalled connections.
The vision for the site is being driven by the Arden Cross Consortium, a group of four landowners.

Ben Gray, from the Arden Cross Consortium, said:

“Arden Cross is a destination at the heart of a global network of road, rail and air connections placing over 35 million people in the UK within a two hour travel time.
“The HS2 Interchange Station is only one small part of the overarching vision for Arden Cross, which will incorporate a combination of high quality public realm, commercial spaces suitable for both national and international occupiers and more than 2,000 new homes, all supported by complementary leisure and retail uses to form a brand new urban centre in the heart of the country.
“While we are still in the early stages of the development process, it is hugely exciting for us to be able to unveil the vision for this site and how it can support the UK Central vision for the continued economic prosperity of the region and UK as a whole.”

Arden Cross is part of Solihull’s ‘UK Central’ growth plans – a strategic vision centred around four economic opportunity zones, designed to maximise Solihull’s role as a powerhouse of the regional economy.

Councillor Ian Courts, Cabinet Member for Managed Growth and Deputy Leader of Solihull Council, said:

“The launch of Arden Cross is a key milestone in the journey of development plans around the High Speed Interchange site and plans around Solihull’s UK Central ‘Hub’ area, capitalising on proximity to assets such as Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre and Jaguar Land Rover.
“The development will attract international interest from world class businesses and has the capacity to deliver over 20,000 jobs, building on the area’s track record in delivering strong economic growth and contributing to its future success.”

Arden Cross is being delivered by the Arden Cross Consortium of land owners and is a key part of UK Central, a vision for the economic prosperity of the region supported by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), the West Midlands Combined Authority and Central Government.

Third building unveiled at Birmingham's landmark Arena Central development

Plans for the third commercial building at Birmingham’s Arena Central development have been unveiled at the MIPIM international property event in Cannes.

Designed by renowned practice Make Architects, 3 Arena Central will offer 182,181 sq ft of high quality space over ground and nine upper floors, including 165,174 sq ft of Grade A offices on efficient floorplates of up to 18,299 sq ft, set around an offset core.

Opening directly onto Bank Court, the centrepiece of the development’s brand new landscaped public realm, 3 Arena Central’s ground floor will feature a fully fitted reception and circa 7,500 sq ft of retail or restaurant amenity.

The building’s three basement levels will also provide capacity for 66 car parking spaces, over 40 secure cycle spaces and associated locker and shower facilities.

Arena Central is being delivered by ACDL, a joint venture between Miller Developments and Pro Vinci Asset Management.

Jonathan Wallis, Arena Central Developments Ltd, said:

“Birmingham continues to be recognised as a leading commercial destination by both national and international occupiers and we want to ensure that through Arena Central we are delivering first-class commercial spaces of the highest quality to meet this demand.
“As a strategic asset within the city, Arena Central is well positioned to benefit from the ongoing investment in Birmingham’s essential infrastructure elements, such as the redevelopment of New Street Station and extension to the Midland Metro tram.
“Coupled with the proposed reinvigoration of public spaces like Centenary Square, this makes Arena Central one of the very best located, most well positioned and deliverable commercial schemes in both Birmingham and the wider West Midlands.
“Funding is currently being sought to develop 3 Arena Central on a speculative basis and we will be submitting a detailed planning application for the development shortly.”

Situated in the heart of Birmingham city centre’s Enterprise Zone and adjacent to Centenary Square and the Library of Birmingham, the 9.2 acre Arena Central site has been masterplanned for the delivery of over 1 million sq ft of office-led, mixed use development.

Work is already underway on the delivery of the 210,000 sq ft 2 Arena Central, which was forward purchased by HSBC in 2015 for the head office of its UK ring-fenced bank serving personal and business customers.

The building is due for practical completion in 2017, with HSBC to take occupancy in 2018.

Demolition and site clearance of the rest of the site is already underway in preparation for the delivery of the brand new, £10 million public realm which will feature over 50 per cent soft landscaping, creating a unique environment in the heart of the city.

Reserved matters planning consent has also been granted for the 135,000 sq ft 1 Arena Central.

As part of the wider development, ACDL has made some significant amends to the scheme’s masterplan, increasing the public space at Bank Square and changing the use of two proposed buildings on the development from residential to commercial.

Jonathan Wallis continued:

“Arena Central is an evolving development and one that needs to respond to the changing demands and desires of the regional property markets.
While we have outline consent for the delivery of residential elements within this scheme, we need to ensure that we can provide the most appropriate solution for the markets’ demands through a flexible and responsive masterplan.”

Located in the core of Birmingham city centre, Arena Central is bordered by Broad Street, Bridge Street, Holliday Street and Suffolk Street Queensway and is adjacent to Centenary Square, one of Birmingham’s most high-profile public spaces, which is due to undergo a comprehensive £8 million refurbishment.

The extension to the Midland Metro tram, work on which is already underway, will include a stop on Broad Street, directly adjacent to the Arena Central site, further enhancing the site’s connectivity to the rest of the city.

Arena Central benefits from simplified planning and reduced business rates and forms a significant part of the city’s vision for regeneration.

For more information, please visit:

Eastside Locks showcased at MIPIM 2016

  • International property developer Goodman presents its 1.25m sq ft regeneration project on the doorstep of HS2
  • Eastside Locks is set to transform into a thriving Business and Innovation Hub

Eastside Locks, a multimillion-pound canal side regeneration project in the heart of Birmingham, will be showcased at the property sector’s leading trade event, MIPIM, in Cannes this week (15-18th March).

Alongside the new Birmingham City University campus, the 13-acre scheme will provide 1.25m sq ft of space for business, living and leisure, including 800,000 sq. ft. of prime grade A office accommodation and will transform a once forgotten part of the city into a vibrant Business and Innovation Hub, where the benefits of integrating business and learning can harness growth at the heart of the Curzon HS2 Masterplan.

Part of the development will see developer Goodman bring a fire damaged and locally listed former cycle factory back to life, retaining its red brick façade and heritage alongside brand new buildings.

The site, which is within the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, will enable businesses to benefit from the increasing connectivity of Birmingham, reduced business rates and access to high quality graduates.

James Raven, Development Director at Goodman, said Goodman was proud to showcase Eastside Locks alongside Greater Birmingham’s delegation of property and construction projects:

"Greater Birmingham has an unrivalled confidence at MIPIM 2016. We are seeing record levels of investment, strong leadership, great universities, the LEP and the Midlands Engine for Growth work together to make it an attractive global investment destination.
Birmingham is the ideal place for connecting university talent with both the booming start-up scene and with the larger businesses that are looking to escape the rising costs of London.
Combine this with record levels of tourism and the top ranking UK regional city for quality of life, and you have a destination that people want to live, work and invest in.
As a developer it’s a very exciting time for us as Eastside Locks takes shape. Our first phase is due to complete in May and our second phase is scheduled to begin on site later this year.
Aided by the future arrival of HS2 and the work of key partners, we will unlock the potential for Eastside Locks to become a truly electrifying Business and Innovation hub."
Alongside presenting on a panel ‘The Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy – how to trigger growth in Curzon’ earlier in the week, Raven is meeting property professionals from across the globe to discuss the role that Eastside Locks is playing in Birmingham’s transformation story.

PwC in Midlands announces move to £500 million Paradise scheme

Professional services firm PwC has confirmed it is to be the first business to sign up to Birmingham City Centre’s £500 million, transformational Paradise development – part of the UK’s biggest Enterprise Zone.

Supporting the Paradise vision of becoming the most important commercial development outside London, PwC has signed the pre-let agreement to relocate its 1,400-strong Birmingham team from Cornwall Court to 90,000 sq ft on the top four and a half floors of the landmark One Chamberlain Square office building, on a 20-year lease.

Designed by renowned award-winning architect Eric Parry, One Chamberlain Square will be a seven storey, premium quality office building with shops and restaurants on the ground floor. It will overlook the refurbished and enhanced Chamberlain Square, surrounded by some of the UK’s finest Victorian civic buildings – including Town Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and Council House.

PwC will relocate to One Chamberlain Square in early 2019, in line with the conclusion of its existing Cornwall Court lease in Cornwall Street, Birmingham.

Matt Hammond, Regional Chairman of PwC in the Midlands, said:

“One Chamberlain Square at Paradise was the natural choice for us. As part of Birmingham’s City Centre Enterprise Zone, the development is a key part of the city’s growth strategy to attract business and investors, create jobs and improve infrastructure.
“With its high quality office space and central location in the city’s newest development, it perfectly reflects the profile and professional requirements of PwC, while offering our staff, clients and visitors a truly first class working environment.
We have worked extremely closely with the Paradise team to ensure One Chamberlain Square will deliver the very best space for our business going forward.”

The Paradise redevelopment is being brought forward through Paradise Circus Limited Partnership (PCLP), a private-public joint venture with Birmingham City Council, with the private sector funding being managed by Hermes Investment Management, the £23 billion manager focused on delivering superior, sustainable, risk adjusted returns to its clients – responsibly.

Hermes Investment Management has also partnered with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), a professional investment management organisation that invests on behalf of 19 million Canada Pension Plan contributors and beneficiaries, on the first phase of the development. Argent is acting as development manager.

Argent, development manager for Paradise, gained planning approval last autumn for the detailed design of the first two speculative buildings and enhanced public realm with a new pedestrian street linking the upgraded Chamberlain Square to Centenary Square.

Construction of the 172,000 sq ft One Chamberlain Square and 184,000 sq ft Two Chamberlain Square buildings will start on site in the Summer, following the demolition of the old library which started in December 2015 and is already transforming the city’s skyline.

Regional Director of Argent, Rob Groves, said:

"As the vision to create the city’s premier business address at Paradise begins to take shape, there could be no better endorsement than PwC’s announcement to be the first tenant.
Its decision reflects the current momentum behind the scheme and the recognition of Paradise as Birmingham’s exemplar commercial development.
“We are confident that Paradise will continue to draw significant interest from other professional and financial services organisations attracted by its exceptional location and significant civic context.”

Chris Taylor, Head of Private Markets at Hermes Investment Management, commented:

“The Paradise scheme is of pivotal importance to Birmingham as the future financial heart of the city. It therefore comes as no surprise to see a global company with the stature of PwC sign up for a move to Paradise.
“The comprehensive placemaking initiative we are undertaking at Paradise, in partnership with Birmingham City Council, will transform the public realm around this commanding area of the city in line with its rich culture and history and deliver a sustainable development with strategic economic and social importance to the region.
PwC’s early commitment is testament to the great work already undertaken and a seal of approval for the future success of the scheme.”

Cllr John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council added:

“Paradise is set to bring thousands of jobs, massive improvements and significant investment to the city centre over the coming years, and PwC’s commitment to move its Birmingham presence here only emphasises the strategic importance of the Paradise scheme in the city’s commercial future.
“Investment in the city by Deutsche Bank and HSBC’s recent commitment clearly indicate the great attractiveness of Birmingham as a business destination.
The city’s unrivalled transport links and reasonable business costs make it a prime location for national and international businesses seeking the very best office space in the UK, and Paradise, as part of the City Centre Enterprise Zone, will play a leading part in this.”

Andy Street, Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, said:

“With funding from Birmingham city centre’s Enterprise Zone helping to drive the development of Paradise forward, it is tremendous news that PwC has announced its commitment to the scheme.
Greater Birmingham’s business, financial and professional services industry is the largest outside London and has an incredibly strong global reputation.
The need for Grade A office space in Birmingham city centre continues to grow – stimulated by rising investor interest in this sector – so major schemes that the Enterprise Zone is supporting, such as Paradise, will have a critical role in ensuring that we can meet this demand and continue to attract businesses from across the world.”

The enabling and infrastructure works, currently underway, have been funded through an approved £61m investment by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).

Construction of One Chamberlain Square will begin shortly, with completion expected in autumn 2018. The public realm enhancements to Chamberlain Square will also be implemented during this period and the second speculative office building, Two Chamberlain Square designed by Birmingham’s Glenn Howells Architects will complete in late 2019.

PwC has been advised by CBRE with PCLP represented by Bilfinger GVA.

Squire Patton Boggs and Berwin Leighton Paisner are acting for PwC and PCLP respectively.

A website showcasing the proposals for Paradise can be viewed at

M&G real estate to fund Ballymore's Three Snowhill in the largest ever city centre office development outside London

  • Supports the Treasury’s vision for making the Midlands a powerhouse for growth
  • Circa £200 million development to create around 450 construction jobs
  • International quality office space and award winning design

M&G Real Estate, one of the UK’s largest property investors, is to fund the construction of Ballymore’s Three Snowhill, a 420,000 sq ft office development in Birmingham city centre. The circa £200 million scheme will be the largest ever speculative city centre office scheme built outside London.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, comments:

“We want to make the Midlands Britain’s engine for growth and this landmark announcement will play an important part in that plan.
“Not only will this project initially create hundreds of important construction jobs in Birmingham, the resulting space will play home to businesses with thousands of valuable jobs right in the heart of the Midlands – a vital step in us rebalancing the economy in Britain.”

Alex Jeffrey, Chief Executive, M&G Real Estate, adds:

“Demand from both domestic and international businesses to secure high quality office space in Birmingham has significantly increased, and this is set to rise further with planned infrastructure improvements such as HS2’s Phase One confirmed to start in 2017.
While occupier demand continues to outstrip supply and push prime rents upwards, Three Snowhill will benefit from low vacancy rates and support our strategy to provide our investors with long-term income-driven growth.”

Three Snowhill is an Enterprise Zone site and is a key development within Birmingham’s Snowhill Masterplan. On completion at the end of 2018, it will comprise 385,000 sq ft of office space and 35,000 sq ft of retail and leisure, housing around 4,000 workers.

The deal follows M&G Real Estate’s acquisition of Two Snowhill in 2014 and forms the next stage of Birmingham’s wider Snowhill masterplan, which has transformed the northern end of Colmore Row to become the prime location for offices in the city centre.

Ballymore’s Chief Executive, Sean Mulryan, says:

“Ballymore is delighted to announce a start on the third and final phase of our Snowhill scheme.
Working with the City, our funding partner, M&G Real Estate, and our main contractor, BAM, we will deliver a landmark building and the final element of what is one of the largest and most prestigious commercial developments in Central Birmingham.
“Ballymore committed to Birmingham and the Snowhill scheme over 10 years ago.
That long term commitment has resulted in the successful transformation of Snowhill into a new and thriving business district - already home to some of Birmingham's largest office occupiers, including KPMG, Barclays, Gowling WLG (formerly Wragge & Co) and the HS2 Construction Headquarters.
“Three Snowhill will enable us to continue building and letting large floorplate workspace of the highest quality and complete the Snowhill Estate.”

Andy Street, Chair, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) comments:

“With more inward investment and business start-ups than anywhere else outside of London, it is clear that Greater Birmingham is becoming a major driver of growth for the UK.
M&G Real Estate’s investment in Three Snowhill demonstrates the confidence in the future of our local economy and underlines the success of our growth agenda.”

Councillor John Clancy, Leader Birmingham City Council, says:

“This is great news for Birmingham and builds on the city’s now established reputation as a leading centre for the business, professional and financial services sector.
We're the UK's most investable city, and with the Masterplan for Snowhill providing a bold vision for replicating the success of places like Canary Wharf together with the £1 billion plus being invested in local infrastructure, it is clear that Birmingham's attractiveness as a location to invest will continue to grow."


Birmingham Smithfield to create a new place at the heart of the city, attracting millions of visitors and over £500 million of investment

  • The ten year plan will see the redevelopment of 14 hectares of prime city centre land
  • The site will deliver over 300,000 sq. metres of floorspace, 2,000 new homes and 3,000 new jobs, adding £470 million GVA to the local economy and attracting millions more visitors to the region
  • The plan will see the creation of a sustainable and inclusive place that includes new cultural and leisure attractions, vibrant retail markets and a new residential offer.
  • The launch of the plan marks the start of extensive public consultation as the city seeks to deliver a legacy development

Birmingham has launched a £500 million plan to create a brand new place for the city. Totalling 14 ha, the site is one of the largest and most attractive city centre development opportunities in the country.

Located in the heart of the city centre, Birmingham Smithfield will become a unique and vibrant place for people to meet, live and shop.

The offer will include fantastic new retail markets, leisure uses, cafes, independent shops, restaurants and hotels, space and buildings for cultural events and activities and exciting modern living. This will all be set within an innovative and exemplar sustainable environment.

The plans will see over 300,000 sq. metres of new floorspace created, 2,000 new homes and a series of new squares, parks and gardens. It will be a major boost to the regional economy bringing a further £500m of investment, 3,000 jobs, millions more visitors and £470m in additional GVA.

The redevelopment will capitalise on the area’s heritage, focus for retail markets and proximity to some of the city’s most important economic assets. On the doorstep of the prime shopping area the already 40 million existing visitors will benefit from this brand new destination.

The site’s connectivity is also unrivalled with New Street Station, used by more than 51 million people a year, close-by and the high-speed HS2 terminus at Curzon only a short metro journey when it opens in 2026.

At the heart of Birmingham Smithfield will be a new home for the city’s retail markets. The new home will become a destination in its own right, with a mix of activity across a multi-level building bringing life throughout the day and night.

The plans will also include space for start-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs harnessing the city’s creative talents and driving new economic activity.

Pedestrians and cyclists will be at the centre of the developments new routes with wide pedestrian boulevards and new streets reconnecting the area to the wider city centre.

Festival Square will become a major new public space for the city and a focal point for the site. As a meeting place and exciting hub for festivals and cultural events it will bring the area to life with new cultural buildings, the home of the markets and hotels and commercial space all focused upon it.

A new modern residential neighbourhood will be created with a mixture of 2, 3 and 4 bed apartments. At the heart of the new community will be a major park adding to the city’s expanding network of green spaces to create what will be one of the most desirable places to live in the city centre.

Boosting the site’s already unrivalled connectivity, the Midland Metro tram will be brought into the site, paving the way for a potential extension to the south of the city.

This will further extend the already growing network that has and will continue to see investment totalling £300 million. Bus routes will run through the site in dedicated corridors providing people with a quick and efficient way of getting around the area and linking to the wider city and beyond.

Councillor John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

"Birmingham is experiencing an unprecedented period of change as billions of pounds of investment transform the city’s economy. And, with 3,000 new jobs and 2,000 new homes, Birmingham Smithfield puts people right at the heart of an exciting project that will in turn transform lives.
Over the next decade this will continue at a dramatic pace as new jobs, transport facilities and residential communities are delivered and I'm confident our plans for Birmingham Smithfield will create a place for people that stands the test of time and sets the standard for sustainable development.”

As part of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Zero Emissions Cities programme Birmingham Smithfield is already at the forefront of the sustainability agenda and will deliver a unique development for the city.

Andy Street, Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, commented:

“Birmingham Smithfield is the next fantastic opportunity to secure investment for the city’s exciting growth agenda. It will create new jobs, homes and infrastructure.
The site’s status as part of the City Centre Enterprise Zone will bring added impetus and over £40 million of funding has already been committed to supporting the delivery of these plans.
The LEP is absolutely behind realising huge opportunities such as Birmingham Smithfield that will drive long-term economic growth and prosperity.”

The plan for Birmingham Smithfield is being unveiled at international real estate show MIPIM, where major cities across the world showcase their development opportunities to international investors.

Mark Rogers, Chief Executive at Birmingham City Council, added:

“The opportunity to create a brand new place at the heart of the city is unique. Birmingham Smithfield will have a transformational impact that capitalises on the area’s unique heritage and focus for markets.
It will radically enhance the city’s retail, visitor and residential offer, as well as unlocking the growth potential of a much wider area. By showcasing the scheme at MIPIM, we are directly targeting potential investors and developers to secure international interest.”

Cllr Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Transport and the Economy at Birmingham City Council said:

“Birmingham Smithfield is a once in a generation opportunity to recreate this part of the city, as a great place to live, visit and do business. The masterplan is a key step towards realising this potential.
Throughout the consultation process, the people of Birmingham have an opportunity to have their say on the future of this major redevelopment. We will be holding a series of exhibitions and events to showcase the opportunity and generate a buzz about its future.
Its transformation will need to be the city’s vision, incorporating the drive for homes, jobs and skills, but most importantly, it will be owned by the people of Birmingham”

A launch, in Birmingham on 21st March, will see the commencement of an eight-week period of public consultation. Birmingham City Council will be holding a series of exhibitions and events for the people of Birmingham to visit and contribute their ideas.

The Birmingham Smithfield Masterplan sets out a clear plan for the future and the creation of a legacy for the City. For more details please visit

View the Birmingham Smithfield Masterplan film here

Birmingham city centre EZ launches unique relocation service to cope with unprecedented investor demand

  • Inward investment agency Marketing Birmingham and Birmingham City Council launch new investor relocation service at global real estate show MIPIM
  • Birmingham city centre is the only EZ in the UK offering this kind of service
  • Scheme is assisting HSBC staff but is now being rolled out to all potential EZ tenants, targeting business, professional and financial services (BPFS) and tech firms in particular

Greater Birmingham is unveiling a new relocation service at international property show MIPIM this week, in response to growing demand from people and businesses moving to the city.

Tailored to firms moving to Birmingham’s city centre Enterprise Zone, the service is operated by inward investment agency Marketing Birmingham and supported by Birmingham City Council. The service is the first of its kind to be offered by an Enterprise Zone in the UK.

A team of city experts will provide staff with advice on areas ranging from property to local schools, healthcare provision, transport networks and leisure destinations. A website, bespoke city tours and lifestyle magazine are also available.

City leaders believe that, by providing for a seamless transition for talented workers moving to Greater Birmingham, it will gain an edge in the increasingly competitive race for regional investment.

The service is already being used by global bank HSBC, which is locating the head office of its new ring-fenced bank in the city – moving 1,000 roles to Birmingham from London.

John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

“This is the first time an Enterprise Zone has launched a dedicated relocation service, and we’re already seeing its success through HSBC’s use of the scheme.
For businesses looking to locate or expand in the UK, this professional service will place Greater Birmingham ahead of other regions.
It further underlines our competitive edge as an investment destination, by showcasing what we can offer new residents as well as their employers.”

Demand is being driven by Greater Birmingham’s appealing offer to businesses and their employees. Greater Birmingham will become the only UK area with two HS2 train stations – while its air, road and rail connections already provide access to 400 million people across Europe.

Birmingham was recently named as having the greatest investment potential in the UK, and sixth in Europe, by PwC and the Urban Land Institute. Office construction in the city is at the highest level for 13 years, according to the Deloitte Birmingham Crane Survey, with 969,000 sq ft of space being built.

For staff, Birmingham has the highest quality of life of any English city outside of London, according to global consultancy Mercer. It is also the most popular destination outside the South East for thirtysomethings relocating out of London, with nearly 5,500 people moving to the city in 2013.

The Greater Birmingham LEP area attracted 61.2 million visitors in 2015, an increase of 1.2 million visitors compared with 2014.

Andy Street, chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, commented:

“This new service for companies moving to Birmingham’s EZ is a significant addition to what we already offer new investors, and will help to attract even more global names here.

This should also have a positive impact on attracting investment across the wider Greater Birmingham area by stimulating supply chains and customer networks that other local firms can tap into.

“Birmingham city centre’s Enterprise Zone is already helping to trigger several major developments – including Paradise and Arena Central – that are offering high-quality space for firms moving here, such as HSBC.
By providing this relocation service, we are now also helping these firms to retain and attract the best staff from across the country.”

More companies are locating to Greater Birmingham than any other LEP area in the UK. It attracted 73 foreign direct investments alone in 2014/15, according to UK Trade & Investment, 9% more than the next highest LEP.

This created and safeguarded 6,104 jobs. Birmingham was responsible for two-thirds (66%) of all projects with a record high of 48.

Across the LEP area, 45% of investments were in the business, professional and financial services (BPFS), IT and digital sectors – the main target sectors for Birmingham city centre’s EZ.

Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, added:

“It has been critical to Greater Birmingham’s success that we target inward investment from sectors that will deliver the greatest economic value and employment opportunities – such as BPFS, IT and digital media.
These industries, as part of the knowledge economy, all rely on employing talented staff that are part of the local workforce.
Our new relocation service is therefore vital in attracting and retaining both foreign and domestic investors in Birmingham city centre’s Enterprise Zone.”

The relocation services website can be found at It will be launched on the Greater Birmingham stand at MIPIM on Thursday 17th March. The event, Driving commercial development through inward investment, is taking place on stand R7.B12 from 9.15am.

Rider Levett Bucknall appointed in Blythe Valley Park role

Property and construction consultant Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) has been appointed by IM Properties to help prepare a masterplan for Blythe Valley Park, acquired by the developer last year.

Situated at Junction 4 of the M42, just five minutes from Solihull Town Centre and Birmingham Airport, Blythe Valley Park is the Midlands’ most prominent business park and was a high profile purchase for IM Properties at the beginning of 2015.

RLB is acting as project manager and quantity survey on the anticipated ten year masterplan programme.

Public consultation for the proposed new plans is underway. The outline planning application will respond to the residential allocation shown in the local plan and will also reposition the park from a traditional business park concept to a vibrant mixed use community.

Paul Beeston, partner at RLB said:

“RLB has extensive experience of strategic land site development and mixed commercial and residential parks and has been able to deliver significant measurable added value to IM Properties.
“This includes supporting the IM Properties team in its negotiations with a number of potential occupiers.
Our cost modelling from the formation of project briefs has allowed IM Properties to respond positively to this increased interest and the subsequent first pre-lets are currently moving towards legal agreement.”

The Blythe Valley Park site is split into two phases, the first of which includes 430,000 sq ft of existing accommodation spread across 11 buildings, with 44 acres of undeveloped land for future commercial development. The second phase extends to 38 acres of development land, located at the rear of the site.

Both phases have outline permission for circa 1.5 million sq ft of predominantly B1 floorspace, with permission for a hotel and restaurant with sports facility in Phase 1. The existing 122-acre country park which bounds the site also forms part of the purchase.

IM Properties first approached RLB in 2014 to help assess the viability of the Business Park purchase. Other consultants on the scheme include Barton Willmore, Stephen George and Partners, THDA, Peter Brett Associates, Cundall and Turley.

Black Country to build Britain's biggest ever garden city to meet unprecedented demand

  • 45,000 new homes planned as region seeks to increase capacity, win more business investment and sustain its economic renaissance
  • Black Country is the fastest growing area within the Midlands, and attracted record levels of foreign business investment last year
  • Regional leaders believe now is the time to increase housing capacity and lay the foundations for future success, avoiding the supply issues that have blighted London and the South East

Britain’s biggest ever Garden City will be built across some 30 towns near to and within Wolverhampton, in the heart of the Black Country, the region has announced today.

The development is designed to cater for unprecedented demand for housing and to sustain record levels of private sector investment coming into the region.

More than 45,000 new homes will be built in the Black Country Garden City in what will be one of Britain’s biggest ever brownfield site regenerations, covering more than 1,500 hectares. Building work is set to start this year and will be finished by 2026.

The new Garden City is a vital part of the region’s plan to win business investment and sustain its economic growth, transforming the region as a place to live and work.

The Black Country is the fastest growing area within the Midlands, its economy expanded 4.5% in 2013, and it attracted record levels of foreign business investment last year in what is Britain’s most successful Enterprise Zone.

And regional leaders believe now is the time to increase housing capacity and lay the foundations for future success, avoiding the supply issues that have blighted London and the South East.

The Garden City will boost the local economy by £18 billion over ten years and will be a magnet for investment into its internationally established automotive, aerospace and construction sectors – which account for 60% of UK automotive R&D; 20% of the UK’s total aerospace output; and through construction technologies contribute more than £1 billion to the UK economy.

The increase in capacity is designed to boost housing capacity for workers in those sectors, but is also a reaction to unprecedented demand for housing triggered by record levels of business investment.

House prices in nearby Wolverhampton grew more than 8 per cent last year, and its population is swelling by 5.5 per cent every year.

Local leaders are determined to use the Garden City to attract skilled workers, and to retain graduates from the ten West Midlands based Universities, including the University of Wolverhampton in the Black Country.

They believe the development will create a vibrant area for the arts, heritage, street food, performance and crafts, which will boost the region’s credentials as a place to live.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark commented:

“The Black Country Garden City symbolises the region’s ambition. It will deliver modern new housing that will be a magnet for business investment, notably in advanced manufacturing and construction, which will boost the local economy and supply the houses local families want.
"Schemes like this are a vital part of the work this Government is doing to rebalance the economy and build the homes our country needs.
House building is at a seven year high, but we’re determined to go even further and deliver on our pledge to build over one million new homes.”

Never before has a Garden City been built to bring together existing towns into one conurbation. Thirty one urban areas, from Aldridge to West Bromwich, will combine to form the City.

The development is being led by the Black Country LEP and the Homes and Communities Agency, with the support of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The region is seeking £6 billion in investment across 550 sites, and will be setting its stall out to potential investors at the annual MIPIM property festival in Cannes, taking place this week.

Dr Chris Handy OBE, Black Country LEP board member, said:

“The Garden City is a vital part of the Black Country’s growth plans and future success. It will increase the appeal of the region as a place to live and work, and will boost the local construction industry and its supply chain.
It is close to skilled jobs and universities, a regional market of 5 million people, and is served by quality transport connections. Not the since the Second World War has a Garden City been built on this scale or at this speed.
It’s going to transform the perception of the Black Country and demonstrate to the rest of Britain that we are a region that is going places.”

The new Garden City is part of a wider series of transformations happening across the West Midlands, in a region revitalised by private sector investment and emboldened by its devolution deal.

The redevelopment of swathes of Birmingham’s city centre finished last year, and the city has laid out plans to build 80,000 new homes by 2030.

And Solihull has set out plans to regenerate the UK Central area around NEC and Birmingham Airport, which is expected to create 100,000 jobs and boost GDP by £19.5 billion by 2040.

MIPIM 2016 to be the biggest on record for Greater Birmingham

  • 38 organisations have signed up to Greater Birmingham’s delegation so far
  • Region to focus on major schemes including HS2, UK Central and its two Enterprise Zones

A record number of private and public sector partners from across Greater Birmingham have joined forces to take part in global property and real estate show, MIPIM (Cannes, 15-18 March), with 11 new partners joining the delegation this year.

With 38 partners taking part in this year’s delegation, and 20 events planned during the show, MIPIM 2016 is set to surpass the success of last year’s event. Greater Birmingham’s stand secured record investor attendance in 2015, attracting more than 350 delegates from 30 countries and hosting 11 events.

Major media announcements included the unveiling of the Birmingham Smithfield quarter and the city’s housing prospectus, while the #MIPIMBrum hashtag reached nearly 740,000 Twitter users.

Cllr John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, will be attending MIPIM alongside representatives from the Black Country LEP, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP. He commented:

“It is crucial for us to promote Greater Birmingham to MIPIM’s international delegates, who have the ability to kick-start major regeneration schemes across the region.
By working in partnership with the private sector, we can ramp up Greater Birmingham’s economic resurgence and ensure that its potential is fully realised.
“With so many sites to showcase, led by major schemes including our HS2 stations and Enterprise Zones, I’m sure that Greater Birmingham will once again be catching the attention of the global investment community.”

Key schemes to be showcased during MIPIM will range from mixed-use developments such as Paradise, Birmingham Smithfield and Arena Central, to the Enterprise Zones in the Black Country and Birmingham city centre.

Transport infrastructure – including Birmingham Airport and the opportunities surrounding the region’s two HS2 stations at Birmingham Curzon and UK Central in Solihull – will also be presented to the thousands of investors attending the event.

Cllr Ian Courts, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Managed Growth at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, said:

“MIPIM enables us to showcase one of the country’s most compelling inward investment locations to a global audience.
UK Central is directly accessible from London and home to major economic assets including Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre, a planned High Speed Rail Interchange, Jaguar Land Rover and several world class business parks.”

Greater Birmingham has continued to attract investment from across the globe. The region secured 86 foreign direct investment projects during 2014/15, creating 5,196 new jobs – a 4% increase on 2013/14, which generated 4,987 jobs.

Tom Westley, Black Country LEP lead for the Enterprise Zone, said:

“Greater Birmingham’s MIPIM 2016 delegation will be its biggest yet, demonstrating how the region’s investment potential has gained real momentum and remains highly competitive.
Delegates will be able to learn about a significant range of opportunities in the Black Country, from our Enterprise Zone to the significant investment in Wolverhampton City Centre, which includes additional retail space, commercial opportunities as well as creating new homes.
For the Black Country MIPIM is a fundamental opportunity to make new industry connections and stimulate investor interest.”

MIPIM 2016 is set to welcome 21,400 international delegates from 89 countries – including 3,560 investors, architects, planners and developers, and more than 360 journalists.

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