Australian developer Lendlease has been chosen to carry out the transformation of a 17ha district at the heart of Birmingham, the UK’s second city.
Lendlease will work in a joint venture with Birmingham council on a £1.5bn plan to upgrade the Smithfield area. This will include:
- The redevelopment of the Bull Ring retail centre
- The construction of 2,000 homes with a public park and community facilities, leisure and cultural attractions
- The creation of a public square
- The development of an integrated public transport system.
The council will work with its development partner to prepare the planning application and create a business plan for the site. The contract between the two is due to be finalised by late 2019, with development to begin in 2022.
Ian Ward, the leader of Birmingham council leader, said: "We are extremely excited to be working with Lendlease, which is an internationally leading developer with a proven track record of bringing forward major development schemes.
"Lendlease has committed to invest in the local community and create thousands of jobs and training opportunities. This scheme will create a legacy for the citizens of Birmingham and become an exemplar for inclusive economic growth."
Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, said: "I’m delighted to welcome this significant investment into Birmingham which will bring jobs and prosperity to the city and surrounding areas, also creating substantial opportunities for the local supply chain.
"It demonstrates the significant potential of the Midlands engine region at a time when overseas investment into the UK is at its highest level ever."
The development of Birmingham Smithfield is part of the 2010 "Big City Plan", which set out a 25-year project to increase the size of the city centre by 25%.
Smithfield is next to New Street Station, and will be a short walk from the High Speed 2 station, due to open in 2026.
Image: Birmingham’s Bullring (Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime)