Property group agrees deal to buy Innovation Birmingham

Innovation Birmingham

Property group Bruntwood is to buy Innovation Birmingham from Birmingham City Council in a deal that will result in further investment in the site.

Innovation Birmingham is a digital and technology campus which is home to 140 businesses in the city, from start-ups to stock market-listed Internet of Things company LightwaveRF.

“Innovation Birmingham has moved a long way in the last nine years but we have reached a point where we need to scale,” said Dr David Hardman, chief executive of Innovation Birmingham.

“We have three buildings, these buildings are full, we have more than 140 businesses, we have a thriving community of people who visit here, but if we are really going to make a difference to the Birmingham economy we have to scale and to do that we need external investment.”

Bruntwood already operates Alderley Park in Cheshire, Manchester Science Partnerships and has recently launched tech incubators in Manchester and Leeds.

The property group is also well-known in Birmingham, with around £150m invested in the city in properties including Cornerblock, Centre City and Cornwall Buildings.

Chris Oglesby, chief executive of Bruntwood, said: “Our upcoming acquisition of Innovation Birmingham forms a key strategic component of our wider science and technology business and enables us to share knowledge and expertise across these sectors.

“Our experience in the science and digital tech sectors, our relationship with funders, aligned with our commitment to expansion ensures that we are ideally placed to deliver significant growth for the campus.”

Left to right: Jessica Bowles, Bruntwood;
Dr David Hardman MBE, Innovation Birmingham; Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands;
Chris Oglesby, Bruntwood;
Cllr Ian Ward, Birmingham City Council

Innovation Birmingham, which is in the city centre near to Aston and Birmingham City universities, has three buildings over 80,000 sq ft. Its businesses have created more than 500 jobs and raised £18m in equity finance.

The deal has been recommended by Birmingham City Council’s cabinet.

Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “I am confident that, when finalised, it will generate huge benefits for the city’s thriving and diverse digital sector, helping to create hundreds of jobs, build businesses and drive growth in the city region as innovative tech firms are given relevant support to realise their growth potential.”

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, was announced at MIPIM. Birmingham City Council was advised by KPMG and Gowling WLG, with Addleshaw Goddard acting for Bruntwood.