Eastside City Park work begins

By on 10/08/2011 in News

Work to create the first new urban park in Birmingham for over 125 years began this week as Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member from Transport, Environment and Regeneration, plants the first of 400 new trees.

Featuring formal lawns, public squares, water features and planted gardens, the 6.9 acre Eastside City Park will stretch from the city centre out into Eastside, past Curzon Street Station and Millennium Point.

Funded by Birmingham City Council the £11.77m park adjoins the current development site for the new Birmingham City University (BCU) campus, and has been designed to sit alongside the Government's proposed High Speed 2 Station.

To help enable work on the park to begin the Council will also this week officially hand over a number of dedicated parking bays within its new £11.8m eastside multi-storey car park to Millennium Point. These bays will be used as replacements for the car park currently in front of Millennium Point, the land for which is to become part of the park itself.

In addition to dedicated spaces for Millennium Point the new car park will also provide more than 500 public car park spaces for future visitors to the park and other developments set for the local area.

Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration, said: “Work beginning on the park clearly demonstrates how we are now moving to the delivery stage of the whole Eastside regeneration programme. As outlined in the Big City Plan the park will act as a real catalyst for the development of the whole area, providing not only a great public space but also instilling confidence in developers within the area that we are moving forward with plans at a pace.”

Being developed by Wates Construction, Eastside City Park will measure approximately 28,000m (the size of 22 Olympic swimming pools) and feature 400 trees, a canal feature running 190m and incorporating 25 jet fountains.

Feature lighting will run through the park as a mixture of LED and fibre optics provide ambient lighting to welcome visitors into the evening.

There will be approximately 5324m2 of turf and 2646m2 of seeded areas with granite and paved pathways.  Benches and pergolas will be located throughout the park to provide visitors with areas to sit and enjoy the surroundings, while near to Curzon Street Station will be the main City Park Square providing water features and a central point for events and performances.

Adjoining the Park will be a specialist Science Garden being developed by Thinktank, work on which is also expected to begin shortly.

Chairman of Millennium Point Trust, Sir Bernard Zissman comments, “As Millennium Point celebrates its 10th birthday this year, it is great to also celebrate the launch of the new City Park. The City Park will transform the Eastside of Birmingham, and represents a highly significant development in future plans for the city.”

Originally granted planning permission in late 2009, plans for the park have been refined over the past 12 months to take account of impact of the Government's High Speed proposals which resulted in the relocation of the BCU campus.

Development work is expected to take 15 months with the Park due to open in late 2012.

Start on site of the Park follows hot on the heels of Willmott Dixon being chosen by Birmingham City University as the approved contractor for a £61m project including phase one of its exciting City Centre Campus - a landmark investment for the 'University, the city and a new generation of students who seek the best skills'.

The state-of-the-art facility at Birmingham's Eastside will be part of the University's overall £180million investment plan to provide the ideal learning environment to create skilled graduates to drive forward the local economy and meet the needs of national and international employers.

ENDS

Pictures from the start of work are available on request. Please call Kris Kowalewski or Simon Houltby on 0121 303 3287 to arrange this.

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