Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone receives a boost with three projects shortlisted for support
The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has welcomed news that three sites in the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone have been selected for investment.
The Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone is one of the flagship schemes for the GBSLEP, having the potential to create 40,000 new jobs and boost the economy by £2 billion a year.
It comprises a network of 26 sites, covering 68 hectares in seven clusters identified as offering significant growth opportunities.
On April 1 2013, the Enterprise Zone officially went live meaning the GBSLEP can now retain the uplift in business rates from companies moving in to the EZ.
This will enable the LEP to further invest in infrastructure, business support, access to finance and employment and skills projects right across the LEP.
Masshouse, Arena Central and Argyle Works are among the 18 projects across 13 Enterprise Zones that have been earmarked for a share of the £104 million loan fund, which is being administered by the Homes and Communities Agency.
The Masshouse scheme will see a high-quality public realms work and public car parking developed in order to facilitate major city centre office employment space.
As part of the Arena Central scheme, funding is being sought to demolish the existing buildings on the site, including a registry office, exhibition hall and TV studios, in addition to a new pedestrian link between Broad Street and Holliday Street.
The GBSLEP and Birmingham City Council has also bid for support to convert Argyle Works – a warehouse in Great Barr Street – into a data facility to act as gateway to the Digbeth creative area.
Chris Webster, GBSLEP Board Director with responsibility for the Enterprise Zone, said: “The news that we have secured outline approval is another sign that things are really happening in the EZ.
“Only three weeks ago, Birmingham City Council was successful in securing support to undertake a £10 million project to improve the road network around key EZ sites.
“This follows on from the launch of the prospectus in February by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the approval of more than £60 million to transform infrastructure in the Westside part of the city to help unlock the Paradise Circus development.
“We are keen to keep up the momentum, as the Enterprise Zone is essential to the success of not just Birmingham City Centre but the wider LEP area.”