Multimillion-pound investment set to transform derelict city site

Work to breathe new life into a derelict industrial site in Birmingham is being accelerated following a multi-million pound investment by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

More than £4m is being made available by the WMCA to clean up and unlock another three acres of brownfield land at Ickneild Port Loop in Edgbaston.

The funding paves the way for developers Urban Splash and Places for People to build a further 138 homes.

A focus on housebuilding and brownfield sites formed part of the region’s £3.2bn investment blueprint submitted to Government, with the region seeking extra cash to extend its brownfield-first scheme.

Ministers have already signalled their intention to back the region’s plans, with £84m of new investment made available last week.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “One of my key priorities since becoming Mayor has been to been build more homes to meet demand, whilst also protecting precious greenbelt land. Before the coronavirus outbreak we were building record numbers of homes, and doing so on old, derelict, industrial sites, thanks to our brownfield-first approach.

“Now house-building has an even more important role to play in the West Midlands. Not only do we still need to reach our target of 215,000 new homes by 2031 – protecting greenbelt land in the process – but we now need house-building and the wider construction sector to help re-boot our regional economy following the coronavirus pandemic. The Government appears to be behind our plans, and last week wrote us a cheque for £84m to continue our pioneering brownfield remediation work.

“Icknield Port Loop is a prime example of what we are trying to achieve here in the West Midlands, and I am delighted to see this new waterside community come to life.”

Components for many of the new homes at Port Loop, which will eventually be part of a new 1,150 home waterside neighbourhood, are being built off-site in factory conditions using Advanced Manufacturing in Construction (AMC) before being delivered and assembled at Port Loop.

The Port Loop development is being delivered by a joint venture partnership of Urban Splash and Places for People, alongside the landowners Canal & River Trust and Birmingham City Council.