Innovation Birmingham set for further expansion

Innovation Birmingham Campus is to undergo further growth with plans lodged for a fourth building on the complex – part of a wider plan to double the size of the campus over the next three years.

The 21,527 sq ft fabrication and prototyping facility would be the third building developed on the site in three years, following iCentrum and last year’s Universities Centre.

The new facility, Maker Wharf, will benefit from digital prototyping facility and equipment to promote the development of innovative commercial technical and creative products; with flexible office space and additional commercial digital fabrication and manufacturing space arranged over the remaining three floors.

The four-storey building, designed by AHR, will be located adjacent to the 42,149 sq ft iCentrum building.
During the last 12 months, Innovation Birmingham has launched iCentrum and the 5,812 sq ft Universities Centre and is now home to over 150 start-ups, with more than 1,000 innovators based within the campus’ community.
Building work will begin on receipt of planning permission and is scheduled to be open by spring 2018, with Innovation Birmingham having already been engaged in several pre-let discussions.

Innovation Birmingham’s masterplan also includes the delivery of an additional 64,584 sq ft of enterprise space, which is set to double the size of the current campus by 2020.
David Hardman, CEO at Innovation Birmingham, said: “The operational aim of Maker Wharf will be to link Birmingham’s manufacturing legacy to the new ‘maker movement’. Given our digital focus the new facilities will bridge digital technologies to the maker economy.
“In addition, we are also looking to encourage practical collaborations between our digital/tech community with practicing artists across the digital arts spectrum. We have already secured considerable interest in Maker Wharf and I believe it will also provide greater depth, spirit and resilience to our connected innovation community on the campus and across the city.”

The area around the campus benefits from being one of 26 sites covered by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull’s LEP’s Enterprise Zone. Firms taking out space at one of the sites benefit from business rates relief for the first five years, access to superfast broadbrand, fast-track planning decisions and more.