Birmingham sets its sights on sovereign wealth funds

By on 07/03/2012 in News

Birmingham is offering a partnership with the largest Municipal Authority in Europe to cash rich sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) as a means of attracting around £1 billion of investment into the city's property portfolio at the world’s largest real estate event this week.

A delegation including council representatives, Business Birmingham and leading property firms is travelling to MIPIM (6-9 March, Cannes) to target SWFs from Abu Dhabi, China, Norway and Saudi Arabia for foreign direct investment into key development areas within Birmingham.

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council said: “In the current economic climate, finding the funding needed for ambitious development projects can be challenging. Sovereign wealth funds have the means, liquidity and long-term vision to support such investments and could be the key to unlocking Birmingham's potential as a truly competitive global city.”

Cllr Whitby will launch the Sovereign Wealth & Institutional Funds Prospectus at an event on 7 March at 14.00 on stand R27.09 in the Palais. The prospectus highlights nine revolutionary developments and opportunities for SWFs to partner on their delivery.

He continued, “This is the next step in a campaign of targeted dialogue for Birmingham with the world's leading SWFs and, over the next 10 months, we are planning to engage the most active and able funds with the full extent of the city's investment opportunities. We believe we are one of the only UK cities targeting these funds in this way.”

Among the investment opportunities within Birmingham's prospectus is Eastside - a key site that will house the planned HS2 station building as well as Eastside Locks (a high density urban business park) and Masshouse (a 74,000 sq m site containing Grade A office space as well as retail and residential elements) - which represents a combined capital investment opportunity of £310 million.

Another leading site, which is seeking a £100 million investment, is Paradise Circus - a city centre redevelopment project that will link the prestigious Southside business and entertainment district to the main city centre. The project is a partnership between the City Council and Argent and will be one of the most significant city centre regeneration schemes to take place in Europe.

The prospectus' nine developments combine to offer a complementary business, retail and leisure landscape and support Birmingham's 'Big City Plan' - a blueprint that allows investors to see the scale of the city's plans for development over the next 20 years and realise the significant return on investment that Birmingham offers.

The prospectus, in line with the Big City Plan, is a venture between Birmingham City Council and the private sector and highlights the collaborative approach needed to lever major investment in the current climate.

Mark Barrow, Strategic Director for Development at Birmingham City Council, said: “Our ability to show the local authority and business community working together to achieve growth and prosperity is crucial and clearly demonstrates the commitment we all have to making Birmingham a globally competitive city.

“While the current climate presents challenges, the cities that can find innovative ways of getting transformational developments off the ground will benefit in the long term. Birmingham cannot afford to stand still.”

Gary Cardin, partner at Drivers Jonas Deloitte in the Midlands and Chairman of Birmingham Forward, added: “Birmingham offers SWFs and institutional investors an investment opportunity which few cities globally can match. The content of this prospectus is wide-ranging, containing not just the dimensions of planned development sites but details of the strategic vision that makes Birmingham such a compelling investment case.”

To find out more visit


Notes to editors

Download the Prospectus at

Case studies of Eastside and Paradise Circus

Eastside is a key infrastructure site that will house the world-class HS2 station building - in addition to Eastside Locks (a high density urban business park) and Masshouse (a 74,000 sq m site containing Grade A office space as well as retail and residential elements), which represent a combined capital investment opportunity of £310 million.

Paradise Circus
Paradise Circus (a 32,000 sq m mixed use redevelopment) will create employment opportunities and generate additional business rates, whilst making significant enhancements to the setting of the city's historic buildings. It will create major improvements to pedestrian routes, road layout and public space will also result from the redevelopment.

Media contact - Cath Shuttlewood -- 07990 505 522 / OR Stuart Humphreys - 0121 265 2760 /

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