Birmingham City Council has announced Lendlease as its development partner to deliver the transformation of the 17-hectare Birmingham Smithfield site.
Located in the heart of the city centre, Birmingham Smithfield is a £1.5 billion redevelopment project that will reposition the city on an international stage.
Lendlease will form a contractual joint venture with the city council and lead the creation of an urban quarter that includes a new home for the city’s historic Bull Ring retail markets, a unique family destination including a leisure and cultural offer, a new public square, integrated public transport and more than 2,000 homes with a public park and community facilities.
The development of Birmingham Smithfield is part of the city’s Big City Plan, launched in 2010, which sets out a 25-year vision to grow the city centre by more than 25 per cent. As one of the areas of transformation, Birmingham Smithfield is located directly adjacent to the Bullring and New Street Station; and will be a short walk from the new High Speed 2 City Centre Terminus Station which is set to open in 2026.
Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council said: “We are extremely excited to be working with Lendlease who are an internationally leading developer with a proven track record of bringing forward major development schemes. The delivery of Birmingham Smithfield will be a major boost for Birmingham. With the new cultural and leisure attractions, the public realm, new homes and retail markets the development will appeal to both national and international audiences. Alongside these fantastic new facilities, the development will also deliver substantial benefits for the people of Birmingham. Lendlease have committed to invest in the local community and create 1,000s of new jobs and training opportunities. This scheme will create a legacy for the citizens of Birmingham and become an exemplar for inclusive economic growth.”
Welcoming the appointment, the Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for Department of International Trade, said: “I’m delighted to welcome this significant investment into Birmingham which will bring jobs and prosperity to the city and surrounding areas, also creating substantial opportunities for the local supply chain. It demonstrates the significant potential of the Midlands Engine region at a time when overseas investment into the UK is at its highest level ever.
“The Department for International Trade is committed to encouraging investment into the whole of the UK, and I’m pleased that teams from across my department – in the UK and internationally – were able to support this major project.”
Waheed Nazir, Corporate Director for Economy, Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham Smithfield is the city’s most important redevelopment opportunity. The site is the location where Birmingham first developed and where its future will now be defined. The calibre of bidders that have been attracted through the procurement process has shown the strength of the city as a place to invest. Lendlease has the capabilities and resources to realise the city’s vision and deliver a truly transformational development scheme. Working with Lendlease we will be creating a new family leisure destination complemented by an exciting mix of cultural facilities, independent retail and business space. This will create a major attractor for residents and visitors. The scheme will have an emphasis on green infrastructure alongside community facilities and affordable housing.”
Lendlease, a leading international property and infrastructure development company, has been selected following an OJEU Competitive Dialogue Procurement process. Lendlease has delivered major developments across the UK including the iconic Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, the 2012 Athletes’ Village and is continuing work on International Quarter London, a major commercial scheme in Stratford.
Dan Labbad, CEO, Lendlease, Europe, said: “Smithfield is the birthplace of Birmingham, known for its markets which have always been at the heart of the city. Much like Birmingham itself, the area is brimming with creativity and opportunity. Our plans for the redevelopment will respect this heritage and bring more jobs, homes and environmental benefits to the area and the people of Birmingham.”
Lendlease is also working on the over station development of Euston, south London’s Elephant Park and was recently selected as the preferred contractor for Birmingham’s Perry Barr development, due for completion in 2022. It will now use its wealth of experience to bring to life plans for the growth of the city centre – creating more opportunities for local people and businesses and increasing economic growth for Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region.
The redevelopment of the area, which is twice the size of Brindleyplace, is expected to take 15 years to complete. The first phase of the scheme will include new homes, the new retail markets building and public realm.
The city council will now work with Lendlease to finalise the terms of the partnership, commence the preparation of a planning application and produce a business plan for the site’s redevelopment before the formal award of the Birmingham Smithfield Development Partner contract. This is anticipated to happen by late 2019 with development expected to commence in 2022.
The site is part of the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, which was established in 2011 to unlock key city centre development sites and accelerate growth.
Tim Pile, Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), said: “As one of our largest Enterprise Zone sites, Birmingham Smithfield will play a crucial role in generating economic growth and job creation for the city and its surrounding areas. The scheme is set to become a unique destination that will attract more visitors, new businesses and investment here. Birmingham City Council’s announcement of its preferred partner is a key milestone in realising the ambitious vision for Birmingham Smithfield. With Enterprise Zone designation, we are also able to secure funding to improve local infrastructure, which will help to accelerate the delivery of this site.”
From the Industrial Revolution onwards, Birmingham and the West Midlands have been at the very forefront of technological advances.
Back in the 18th Century, the likes of Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch made this the Workshop of The World – a city renowned for endeavour and invention.
Fast-forward 250 years or so and we continue to be a centre for progress in areas such as advanced manufacturing, life sciences and digital innovation. This city and the wider West Midlands is home to one of the largest tech clusters in the UK with more than 40,000 people working in web development, data, e-commerce, animation and other digital industries.
So, as the West Midlands Combined Authority lead for Economic Growth, I’m excited that we have today approved plans to put the West Midlands at the very heart of the next big tech revolution – 5G.
Short for Fifth Generation Mobile Networks, 5G will be significantly faster than previous generations and is widely tipped to bring huge benefits to businesses, public services and to the wider population as a whole.
Of course, as with all new technologies, turning the clever science into practical uses is the tricky part. And that’s where we come in.
This region has been selected to become home to the UK’s first multi-city 5G test bed in a multi-million pound project that will trial new 5G applications and services at scale.
The Urban Connected Communities Project will develop a large-scale, 5G pilot across the region, with hubs in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton and initial plans include:
- Hospital outpatient appointments and emergency consultations carried out remotely by video link.
- “Connected Ambulances” – Paramedic crews at an incident could access specialist advice while they are at the scene, eg video conferencing with consultants or other clinical specialists. Live streaming of patient data from ambulance en-route to hospital would help inform the immediate care patients receive on arrival.
- Live streaming of CCTV footage from public transport buses, enabling immediate action to be taken against anti-social behaviour. “Intelligent cameras” using artificial intelligence (AI) to identify incidents could provide the opportunity for far greater coverage than is possible at present.
These examples are just some of the potential uses of this exciting technology and Birmingham will be at the very heart of a 5G revolution that experts believe could dramatically transform our daily lives.
I’m sure Messrs Boulton, Watt and Murdoch would approve.
My speech at last night’s Centre for Cities event.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen
May I offer you a warm welcome to Birmingham – one of Europe’s youngest cities and, of course, home to the UK’s largest local authority.
You come to Birmingham at an exciting time. This young, diverse, creative city is going through a dramatic period of transformation at the moment.
In fact you could argue that we’ve entered a golden decade that will define Birmingham and the wider region for generations to come.
We’re building homes, attracting investment, creating jobs, building the infrastructure for HS2, hoping to get the nod as the new home of Channel 4 and preparing to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
I’m proud of Birmingham. I was born here, I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve seen the city change almost beyond recognition from the Birmingham of my childhood.
This city is currently buzzing with the noise of regeneration and we have many reasons for optimism.
- The Good Cities Growth index rated us as the most improved in the UK in 2017 and we continue to attract new investment and new homes.
- In recent years, Birmingham has seen the fastest growth in business numbers in the country.
- With an economy worth £24.8bn, this city has a growth rate of 19.2% in the last five years and is one of the largest growing city economies in the UK.
- Last year we were once again the most entrepreneurial city in Britain outside London as 12,108 new businesses opened their doors in 2017.
- And Birmingham is ranked as having the highest quality of life of any English city outside the capital, by the global Mercer Quality of Living Report 2018.
Of course, I don’t have to sell Birmingham to the people in this room. You must like the city because you keep coming back!
In increasingly uncertain times, this great city and the wider region stand ready to play a pivotal role in the UK economy whatever happens with Brexit.
Through the West Midlands Combined Authority, we are working very closely with the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street to get the best possible deal for the people of this city and this region.
Our collaborative work on the Local Industrial Strategy is a prime example. As the Combined Authority’s portfolio lead for economic growth, I’m working closely with the Mayor to grow our regional economy in a way that can bring greater prosperity to all our communities.
Like cities and city regions up and down the UK, Birmingham and the West Midlands will be more important than ever if and when we leave the European Union.
But of course we must be given the tools to play that key role and we must be given a greater stake in the
I’m sure I won’t be the only person over the next four days to talk about the importance of rebalancing the UK economy.
We’ve been talking about it for years, but spending in this country remains stubbornly London-centric.
It surely cannot be right, for example, that transport investment stands at almost £1,000 per head for London, but just over £300 for Birmingham and the West Midlands.
Yes the regions miss out, but so does the UK economy as a whole.
We stand ready to play our part.
Invest is us and we’ll deliver – not just for Birmingham and the West Midlands – but for Britain.