Development partner picked for £1.5bn Birmingham scheme

Birmingham City Council has picked Lendlease as its development partner for the £1.5bn revamp of the 17-hectare Smithfield site in the city centre.

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 leisure and cultural offer, public square, integrated public transport and more than 2,000 homes with a public park and community facilities.

The scheme will take 15 years to complete.

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%.

Birmingham Smithfield is adjacent to the Bullring and New Street Station and will be a short walk from the High Speed 2 City Centre Terminus Station which is set to open in 2026.

Cllr 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.”

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.

The council will now work with Lendlease to finalise the terms of the partnership, start 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 start in 2022.

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.”