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News - 26/02/2013

Birmingham Enterprise Zone plans unveiled

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New city centre development plans for Birmingham have been announced, aimed at boosting the area's property market, attracting investment and creating more jobs.

The developments, which will make up the city centre enterprise zone, are set to give the Greater Birmingham economy a £2.8 billion annual boost, create 40,000 jobs and establish the city as a ‘global centre for inward investment’.

Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore and Andy Street, chairman of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), were joined by Chancellor George Osborne and Tory grandee Lord Heseltine to unveil the Prospectus at Birmingham Town Hall to more than 200 property and investment professionals.

Collaboration is key to Birmingham's future

Ian Kibble, Head of our Birmingham Office, said: “The launch of the Prospectus demonstrates just the kind of joined-up thinking that Birmingham and the West Midlands needs if it is to return to being the economic powerhouse it once was.

“The inward investment strategies outlined in the proposals could provide the impetus needed to kick-start the region’s renaissance and attract major companies to locate here, bringing much-needed jobs and prosperity.”

The enterprise zone initiative, which is being led by the LEP, has the potential to use powers agreed by the government to generate income for further investment in infrastructure and skills.

Comprising of 26 sites across the city centre, the zone covers 168 acres in seven clusters focused on the business and financial services, ICT, creative industries and digital media sectors.

Significant investment to boost business growth

An investment plan worth more than £125 million to kick-start the city centre zone was approved by the LEP board in July 2012.

The first phase of activity for the zone included an investment of more than £60m into infrastructure to help unlock developments, such as Paradise Circus; £25m for the extension of the Metro from New Street to Centenary Square; and £40m to support site development and business growth activity.

Ian added: “Birmingham City Council is already working on a number of big projects, including the New Street station refurbishment, the Metro extension, new road building, and improvements to the public realm, which will improve the city.

“The new development opportunities as part of the enterprise zone will further enhance Birmingham’s offering which, in turn, will attract more investment.”


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