Plans for creative hub move ahead after £3m funding approved

A hub for the creative industries is set to be built in Birmingham city centre after £3m in funding was approved.

The development will see the creation of a 50,000sq ft campus facility for independent TV production and creative content developers.

The £18m facility based at The Bond in the city’s historic Creative Quarter has had an investment of £3m approved from Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) which will enable the project to go ahead, subject to planning permission.

The Digbeth site is being developed by Oval Real Estate and Oval Developments (Oval).

A planning application has been submitted for five existing and derelict heritage buildings on the Fazeley Street site to be transformed.

Anita Bhalla, GBSLEP board director for Creative and Culture, said: “GBSLEP’s investment of £3m reflects our commitment to the creative industries which we see as a priority sector that stimulates inclusive economic growth and a catalyst for job creation.

“The Creative Content Hub will be an exciting addition to the media landscape and at the heart of innovative production in the region. It’s also an exciting step towards creating a TV, film and multimedia cluster in the heart of Birmingham’s Creative Quarter, in Digbeth.

“GBSLEP’s investment means the funding gap for this project has been filled and it can now be moved to the next stage of development.’’

The Creative Content Hub is the result of a collaborative approach between the public and private sectors to unlock the historic site in Digbeth. Working in partnership, Create Central, GBSLEP, West Midlands Growth Company and Oval have responded to the needs of creative businesses to move the project forwards.

Create Central chair Ed Shedd said: “The concept of a Creative Content Hub was developed by the industry, through Create Central, to provide a means of kick-starting the sector post-pandemic. It is set to position the West Midlands at the forefront of developing new ways of working that will re-invent and future-proof traditional television, film and wider digital content production.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “It is incredibly exciting that thanks to some brilliant collaborative working we have managed to get this world class Creative Content Hub off the ground.

“The West Midlands has some of the most creative talent in the world, but in the past we have been notoriously poor at nurturing and retaining it. That is one of the reasons I was so keen to get Create Central established, and this new hub will go a long way to both addressing that and re-establishing the West Midlands as one of the country’s premier film and TV destinations.”