£9.5m investment in historic building to bring forward high-tech mixed-use scheme

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands with Grace Ellerby, Kinrise's community manager for Citadel

Work to regenerate and restore another Victorian building in Birmingham’s historic Corporation Street is to receive a £9.5m investment from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The Citadel building is being transformed into an eco-friendly hybrid mix of office, retail and social space on what had traditionally been the city’s premier shopping street.

The investment follows a commitment by the WMCA earlier this year to provide the funding needed to kickstart the transformation of the historic Murdoch Chambers & Pitman Building located on the opposite side of Corporation Street to the Citadel.

Developer Kinrise has now started work on the transformation of the Citadel which is expected to be completed this summer.

It will offer more than 46,000 sq ft of office, retail and social space and be run by a building app and new technology. It will be operationally net zero carbon, powered by 100% green electricity, with LED lighting, VRF air conditioning, electric car charging stations and cycle storage spaces.

The scheme is expected to create or safeguard around 350 jobs and Kinrise is using local craftspeople and sustainably sourced materials throughout the renovation to support the city’s local economy and keep the building’s carbon footprint low.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “It’s wonderful news that we have helped to unlock this exciting new development by Kinrise.

“Although this is their first foray into Birmingham, Kinrise are familiar with the modern renovation and repurposing of heritage buildings so I have great confidence in the revival of the Citadel building.

“This project is an excellent example of how we can combine modern technology and sensitive design with heritage preservation to give these beautiful buildings a new lease of life, generating fresh economic activity and job creation.

“What is particularly impressive about this scheme is the way Kinrise is taking an old, energy hungry Victorian building and turning it into a zero-carbon 21st Century space for fit for the future of work and play, simultaneously boosting our economy and tackling the climate emergency.

“This £9.5m WMCA investment, together with our funding of the nearby Murdoch and Pitman site, are just the latest examples of how we are putting money to good use to help drive a successful economic recovery as we bounce back from Covid. Corporation Street is being restored to its former glory one building at a time.”

Sam Lawson Johnston, co-founder of Kinrise, said: “Our aim at Kinrise is to turn iconic yet un-loved buildings into creative and inspiring work and cultural spaces. Through our development of Citadel, we are proud to be able to usher a piece of Birmingham’s architectural heritage into a new era.

“We are delighted to be working alongside the WMCA to deliver contemporary and collaborative office working to this dynamic city and are proud of our role in reviving the soul of Corporation Street ahead of Citadel’s completion this summer.”

With the on-going shift away from bricks and mortar retail to on-line shopping, it is hoped both the Citadel and Murdoch & Pitman investments by the WMCA will help revitalise the northern end of Corporation Street which boasts several historic buildings including the Grade I Listed Victoria Law Courts and the Grade II Listed Methodist Central Hall, which has stood empty for nearly 20 years.

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