Greater Birmingham schemes capitalise on Downing St event

By on 27/01/2015 in Leader, News

More than 30 major UK and international institutional investors learned about Greater Birmingham’s vast potential at the government’s inaugural ‘Investment into Cities’ event, held at Downing Street today (Tuesday 27 January).

A delegation of civic and business leaders discussed the scale and variety of schemes immediately available to investors in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, which attracted more foreign direct investment projects than any other region last year. The presentation concentrated on schemes including Icknield Port Loop and UK Central – as well as the Snow Hill and Southern Gateway areas of the city.

The event aims to secure investment for major projects that will help to rebalance the wider UK economy away from London and the South East. It was chaired by Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord Deighton, and addressed by Minister for Cities, Greg Clark. Representatives from Bristol and Leeds also took part.

The Greater Birmingham team comprised Andy Street, Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP; Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council; Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham; and Waheed Nazir, Director of Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council.

Legal & General, one of the investors attending the event, also announced a new regeneration vehicle to provide investment into UK projects including housing and infrastructure. It is allocating £1.5bn to the vehicle and, working alongside investment partners, plans to secure further external funding up to £15bn.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, commented: “Birmingham is emerging as a global investment destination. The city is one of Europe’s brightest property hotspots, and has some of the biggest investment opportunities anywhere in Britain. We have already proved that Birmingham can deliver world-class property and infrastructure projects. Just look at the £600m redevelopment of New Street station, £200m expansion of Birmingham Airport, and regeneration of the Curzon area around the city centre’s HS2 terminal. This unprecedented scale of investment is transforming Birmingham – making the city unrecognisable from a decade ago.

“Birmingham is a city on the rise. People and businesses are flocking here. We are Britain’s capital of enterprise and innovation. And we are at the centre of the world’s biggest high speed rail project, HS2, which is a magnet for investment. Demand for Birmingham’s office space, leisure space and residential property has never been higher.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the growing confidence of investors such as Legal & General in regional cities like Birmingham.â€

The schemes presented at Downing Street comprised a variety of commercial, leisure and residential opportunities across Greater Birmingham. This included the residential-led Icknield Port Loop site, which will become a mixed-use neighbourhood in Birmingham comprising 1,150 new homes and 75,000 sq ft of retail and commercial floorspace.

Andy Street, Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, added: “Greater Birmingham is at the forefront of delivering economic growth in the UK’s regions, with record foreign direct investment figures and investors ploughing £1.04 billion into its property market during 2014, a 19% increase from the previous year.

“What we’ve been able to demonstrate at Downing Street today is that this area has the scale and diversity that investors are seeking.”

Long-term investment opportunities in the region include UK Central in Solihull, home to Birmingham Airport and Jaguar Land Rover, and the site of the West Midlands’ proposed new High Speed Rail Interchange.

Nick Page, Chief Executive of Solihull Council, said: “Today’s event gave us the chance to further raise the profile of UK Central, one of Europe’s largest, most exciting development opportunities. The scheme brings together Solihull’s world class business, transport and entertainment assets alongside the borough’s reputation as an outstanding place to live and work.â€

ENDS

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 Greater Birmingham statistics at a glance:

  • Birmingham property investment volumes in 2014 were up 19% at £1.04bn, 86% above the average for the 2008-2013 period, according to Jones Lang LaSalle
  • GVA’s Big Nine report revealed 340,000 sq ft of deals completed in the city centre in the last quarter of 2014, more than doubling the five-year quarterly average of 161,677 sq ft. This included the 98,000 sq ft letting to HS2 at Two Snowhill.
  • Extended Birmingham Airport runway to provide direct links to USA and the Far East
  • Birmingham is home of HS2 construction HQ and engineering college
  • HS2 will boost regional economy by £1.5bn per year, creating 22,000 jobs
  • Regeneration of Curzon Street will create 14,000 jobs and inject £1.3bn into the economy
  • Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP area attracted a record number of FDI projects (77) in 2013/14, an increase of 57% on the previous year – creating 4,800 jobs
  • ONS figures show that between June 2012 and June 2013, 58,220 people in their thirties left London, with 5,480 moving to Birmingham – their most popular destination.

 Business Birmingham

Business Birmingham is the city’s official inward investment programme, part of Marketing Birmingham’s destination marketing strategy. Supported by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Investing in the City Region project, Business Birmingham aims to position Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull as leading inward investment locations and major engines of UK growth. For more information, visit Business Birmingham’s website or sign up to its newsletter.

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