Significant funding boost for city centre enterprise zone

By on 23/07/2014 in Leader, News

Birmingham City Council is set to approve a significantly larger funding package to support the delivery of the city centre enterprise zone.

The £275 million investment plan, which has also been agreed by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will help to accelerate the delivery of new development and infrastructure over the next 10 years and so continue the positive transformation of the city centre.

The package of funding will help the enterprise zone deliver more than 40,000 jobs, 1.4 million square metres of business and commercial floor space and will add £2 billion a year to the local economy.

The investment plan expands on the original £128 million approved for the enterprise zone in 2012 by £147 million to support more projects to drive forward development across the enterprise zone.

This includes an additional £26.5 million to provide funding for the final phase of the Paradise Circus scheme, delivering more than 150,000 square metres of office floor space, while £45.5 million has also been identified to relocate the wholesale markets and deliver a new vibrant city centre destination through the development of the Southern Gateway site.

The enterprise zone will also provide funding for the LEP to deliver its wider growth aspirations. This includes investing £30 million to support development activity in the Birmingham Curzon area to maximise the benefits of High Speed 2 (HS2). Up to £40 million has been identified for the HS2 Interchange Station, next to the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham International Airport, and other LEP projects to support economic growth.

Andy Street, chairman of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, said: “The economic prospects of the city centre enterprise zone will enable the Greater Birmingham area to drive forward the nation's economic recovery. The investment plan is a key piece of the jigsaw that will allow the LEP and the city council to unlock the potential of some of our key projects over the coming years. The regeneration that will follow will provide a huge boost to the heart of the city and the local economy, creating jobs, living space, office accommodation and infrastructure. It is a clear signal of Greater Birmingham's ambition.”

Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore said: “The enterprise zone is already delivering benefits to businesses and the citizens of Birmingham with new development and infrastructure in the city centre. This funding package of £275 million, including support for Birmingham Curzon, will allow us to continue to deliver the positive transformation of the city centre and to attract further inward investment.

“This funding announcement shows that the city is committed to making the enterprise zone a real success story. The positive progress in delivering the enterprise zone demonstrates the strength of the city centre as a prime office location.

“The funding that the investment plan represents will be central to the delivery of major office schemes, such as Paradise Circus. It will give confidence to the market and will kick-start further investment in the city's office stock helping to fill the gap in supply and meet the rising demand for high quality office space in the city centre.”

The council's cabinet will meet to consider its decision on Monday, July 28.

ENDS

For further information contact Jonathan Horsfall on 0121 303 3367

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