Monthly Archives: February 2016

Shadow Chancellor sees just why Birmingham is THE place to invest

Recent visitors to our city – especially those arriving by rail – cannot fail to have been impressed by the dramatic transformation of New Street Station.

So I was delighted today to welcome Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell to Birmingham to showcase that transformation and the development of Grand Central.

We had to don hard hats and protective clothing because workmen are still on site putting the finishing touches to the project but New Street already embodies Birmingham’s growing reputation as a city on the up – a city to invest in.

The New Street redevelopment and Grand Central offer perfect examples of public enterprise and private enterprise working together in the city of Birmingham. That’s what built our city and it continues to build and re-shape the city today.

The Shadow Chancellor was certainly impressed and could see why Birmingham is now the most investable city in the United Kingdom. We’re the sixth most investable city in Europe and we are going to rise up that table.

The New Street regeneration and the arrival of HS2, will act as catalysts for future developments that will provide the jobs and skills we need in Birmingham.

Investment not austerity is the way to recovery and, looking ahead, there’s absolutely no question that HS2 really is seen as a game-changer for the future economic growth of Birmingham. It will super-charge the city as the place to invest and locate.

This is about investing in the future of our city and our people. We should see projects like New Street and of course HS2 as an opportunity to build skills and it’s really important that people from across the city benefit.

That’s why I welcomed the recent opening of the HS2 National Headquarters in Birmingham and the granting of planning permission for the National College for High Speed Rail on the site of the former Birmingham Science Park.

Birmingham is at the heart of the national HS2 network with Curzon Station, the construction headquarters in the city centre and the maintenance depot at Washwood Heath. The National College for High Speed Rail will be a much-needed conduit for the thousands of young engineers and scientists within Birmingham to access cutting-edge developments in high tech rail.

I’m keen to ensure that HS2 becomes part of the solution in relation to our challenges with jobs and skills in Birmingham. We should see this as an opportunity to build skills in this city and it’s really important that people from across the city benefit.

So when we talk about projects like New Street and Grand Central, we’re not just talking about buildings and retail – we’re talking about people, jobs, skills and pride.

Greater Birmingham’s largest ever MIPIM programme

Greater Birmingham’s ‘Today, Tomorrow and Beyond’ showcased to investors at MIPIM 2016

  • Greater Birmingham reveals its biggest events programme to date ahead of international property exhibition MIPIM
  • Midlands regions join forces to promote flagship projects including Birmingham Smithfield and Black Country’s High Value Manufacturing City, both worth £1 billion

Greater Birmingham has today unveiled its largest-ever events programme, showcasing the region’s leading investment offer at global real estate show MIPIM (15 -18 March, Cannes).

Comprising 20 events and 32 speakers, the three-day programme is designed to highlight the investment, development and occupier opportunities available across Greater Birmingham. Flagship schemes will feature alongside exclusive project launches, all under the region’s 2016 event themes of ‘Today, Tomorrow and Beyond.’ The programme will explore current projects taking place, as well as long-term strategies for the region, ranging from skills development to the future of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

With a particular focus on collaboration, Greater Birmingham and surrounding regions will work in close partnership across its events schedule, which this year includes The launch of Birmingham’s Smithfield Masterplan. One of the country’s largest city centre development opportunities covering 14 hectares, the scheme is worth a combined £1 billion. Located within the city centre Enterprise Zone, Birmingham Smithfield will present investors with the opportunity to be part of a transformational mixed-use development at the heart of Birmingham.

Cllr John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, commented: “Our biggest events programme to date at this year’s MIPIM will ensure Greater Birmingham once again catches the attention of the global investment community. With development sites across the region to showcase, ranging from landmark high-speed rail stations at Birmingham Curzon and UK Central to the Black Country’s successful Enterprise Zone, Greater Birmingham will promote capital investment opportunities for the property market’s most important decision makers.

“Central to this year’s programme is the strong collaboration between the private and public sectors, and across local authority and local enterprise partnerships throughout Greater Birmingham. By continuing to work together, we can deliver the jobs and growth that are vital to the economic development of the region, and overall growth prospects of the UK.”

Greater Birmingham’s MIPIM 2016 programme also includes The launch of the Black Country’s High Value Manufacturing City (HVM City) digital asset. The development programme is designed to support the advancement of the leading design, manufacturing and engineering opportunities available in the Black Country. HVM City will add over £1 billon to the economy, bring forward over 150 hectares of land for advanced manufacturing and create over 25,000 jobs.  The launch event will be led by Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership board member, Tom Westley, and will form one of many key investment opportunities showcasing the Black Country area.

Following unprecedented levels of investment within the region’s retail sector, the Greater Birmingham stand will hostThe future of retail. The event will investigate how the region’s evolving retail sector will impact its economic and property landscape over the coming years. It will feature a panel debate with national industry experts including Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis and Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP; Steve Yewman, Development Director at Westfield; and Robin Dobson, Director of Retail Development at Hammersons.

Andy Street added: “With over £1billion of investment in the region in the last year, Greater Birmingham is experiencing record levels of growth.  Globally significant companies like HSBC and Jaguar Land Rover are locating or expanding in the area, demonstrating their confidence in the future of the local economy.

“MIPIM is the ideal platform to showcase everything the region has to offer and promote the potential for further growth; reinforcing Greater Birmingham’s place on the world stage for investment. “

Throughout Greater Birmingham’s event programme, delegates will learn of the vast opportunities available, as the region’s private sector development partners take to the stand. Speakers contributing include Mark Lee, Chief Executive at Calthorpe Estates; Glenn Howells of Glenn Howells Architects and Jonathan Wallis, Development Director at Arena Central.

Stephen Hollowood, Senior Director at Bilfinger GVA, who will be attending MIPIM as part of Greater Birmingham’s delegation, said: “As one of the UK’s leading property advisors operating in both the public and private sectors, Bilfinger GVA’s international focus is becoming increasingly important. In recent years, MIPIM has raised our profile across the UK and key global markets, providing us with critical access to international investors, potential partners and clients.  Attending the event as part of the Greater Birmingham delegation means we are part of a strong, unified regional presence, making it easy to showcase our opportunities on the international stage.”

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.


MIPIM 2016 – Greater Birmingham official events programme:

The private sector partners taking part in Greater Birmingham’s MIPIM delegation comprise:

  • AFL Architects
  • Arcadis
  • Arena Central
  • Bilfinger GVA
  • Birmingham Airport
  • Bruntwood
  • Calthorpe Estates
  • Claremont Property Group
  • CEG
  • Countryside Properties
  • Cundall
  • Custard Factory
  • EDG Property
  • Glancy Nicholls Architects
  • Gleeds
  • Glenn Howells Architects
  • Goodman
  • Hollywood Monster
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • JLL
  • Knight Frank
  • KPMG
  • Nikal
  • Paradise Birmingham
  • PGC Capital
  • PwC
  • Rider Levett Bucknall
  • Shakespeare Martineau
  •  Sterling Property Ventures
  • University of Wolverhampton

No congestion charge in Birmingham

Response to claims that Birmingham City Council is planning to introduce a congestion charge.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr John Clancy, explained: “There are no proposals in the Business Plan and Budget for a congestion charge. However we are committed to Government plans for a Clean Air Zone. This does not apply to private cars.

“A number of options were considered at an earlier stage of the budget process but it was made clear as we launched the consultation in December that a congestion charge was not being proposed.

“We have to take action on the Clean Air Zone by 2020 or face significant fines from Government, which could be upwards of £60 million.

“So a steering group for the Clean Air Zone will be chaired by Cllr Lisa Trickett and recommendations will then be brought forward.”

The key points to consider around the development of a clean air zone in Birmingham:

  • A Clean Air Zone has been ordered in Birmingham and other cities by the Government, to ensure it meets EU air quality targets following a case brought by environmental campaigners.
  • This is not therefore a so-called “congestion charge” brought forward by the city council.
  • The city council has repeatedly ruled out imposing a congestion charge on motorists after previous misleading suggestions it was planning to do so.
  • The zones in Birmingham and elsewhere will NOT apply to private vehicle users (taxis, buses and other vehicles will fall within the scope of the proposal).
  • If air quality issues are not addressed, the Government faces hefty fines (believed to be in the millions of Pounds), that could then be passed on to the relevant local councils
  • A full programme of data capture will be carried out by the city council as part of a comprehensive scoping study to understand more about the types of vehicles travelling in and out of the city, so the extent of the area covered by any future Clean Air Zone is appropriate to ensure air quality targets are met. This will not lead to any fines or charges, it is simply to ensure the zone is the right one.
  • The savings outlined in the Business Plan and Budget 2016+ will now be realised by a combination of measures designed to reduce reliance on car trips and improve air quality. NOT a congestion charge.
  • We will work on a cross-party basis to look at the best way to make future savings in this area.