Paradise Circus £450 million transformation drives forward
The transformational redevelopment of Paradise Circus is moving forward after the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) approved an Enterprise Zone resource allocation of more then £60 million.
Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet is set to approve the Full Business Case for the Paradise Circus development, which will be taken forward through an innovative Joint Venture between the landowners.
The Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone resource allocation approved by the LEP board will enable the city council to borrow the £61.3 million and use additional business rate ‘uplift’ income generated from the development to fund the borrowing.
Argent – the developer behind Brindleyplace – was granted outline planning permission last year for the city centre site between Chamberlain Square and Centenary Square, and this is expected to generate up to 12,000 jobs with its 1.8 million square feet mixed-use development.
Approval for the Full Business Case and Joint Venture by the Cabinet on March 25 2013 will give the go-ahead for the detailed design of the phase one works to start this spring and development works to start in autumn 2014.
This £61.3 million tranche of funding will enable the first two phases of infrastructure works. The whole scheme requires £83.4 million of Enterprise Zone resource allocation for the public infrastructure works, which include demolition, highways and landscaping.
The total investment will create a net growth in business rates of £180.5m over the 25-year life of the Enterprise Zone. This will enable further investment in regeneration projects.
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is the first time this type of innovative Joint Venture (JV) structure and funding package has been used in England and Wales to deliver regeneration.
“It has been made possible because Paradise Circus is included in the Enterprise Zone and facilitated by the close working relationship between the city council, Argent and the LEP.”
Rob Groves, leading the project for Argent, said: “Following the GBSLEP board’s approval, we are very pleased that the business case for the joint venture with Birmingham City Council on the Paradise Circus proposals is to be considered by Cabinet.
“Obviously, we cannot pre-empt the decision but we are confident that a robust case has been made and are hopeful of a positive outcome.
“If approved, this will be an extremely significant milestone in the delivery of a truly transformational proposal for the city.
“After many years of planning, consultation and preparation, the decision would make the delivery of the first phase of the Paradise Circus redevelopment very much a reality. With the full support and backing of Birmingham City Council and GBSLEP, we would be able to actively move forward on this major project.”
Andy Street, GBSLEP Chair, said: “The approval of this allocation from the Enterprise Zone Investment Plan advances the funding package for the Paradise Circus redevelopment.
“The Enterprise Zone model has enabled the complex challenges this project presents to be overcome, combining the imagination and risk-taking of the private sector with just the right support from the public sector.
“We’re delighted to have agreed this – now we can start working with the developers to drive this transformational project which is a huge statement of intent for the city, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone.”