Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone

About the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone

The Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone is one of the major projects for the GBSLEP, with the potential to create 40,000 new jobs, add £2 billion a year to the economy and make available 1.3 million sq metres of floorspace over the lifetime of the project.

Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, comprises 26 sites across the city centre covering 68 hectares in seven clusters at Westside, Snow Hill District, Eastside, Southern Gateway, Digbeth Creative Quarter, Birmingham Science Park Aston and the Jewellery Quarter.

Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone sites and Local Development Order areas.

These sites are focussed on the business and financial services, Information and Communication Technology, creative industries and digital media sectors which are already clustered in the city centre and present significant growth opportunities.

An simplified planning regime is being introduced across the whole of the EZ in addition to Local Development Orders (LDO) being used in Digbeth and Birmingham Science Park Aston, which will remove the need to apply for planning permission for a wide range of changes of use, making it easier for growing small businesses to be mobile.ARENA-CENTRAL

Additional support will be provided to businesses locating within the EZ before 2015 through
business rates relief of up to £275,000 over five years.

And the EZ will provide superfast broadband focused on the clusters of IT, creative and digital businesses in Digbeth, Eastside, the Jewellery Quarter, Southern Gateway and St George and St Chad Quarter.

Over its 25 year lifetime, the retained uplift in business rates will enable the LEP to invest in a range of infrastructure, business support, employment and skills and access to finance projects to support its priorities.

2015/16 update

Development activity within the City Centre EZ increased significantly over the past year, supported by the GBSLEP’s £275 million Investment Plan funded by Birmingham City Council borrowing against future business rate uplift. A total of 1,700 jobs and 125,000sqm of floorspace have been created to date with £325 million of private sector capital investment leveraged.

December 2015 saw the major clearance works at the £500 million Paradise regeneration scheme start, with PwC Midlands announced as the first occupier in March 2016.

Works on the Arena Central development started on site in the summer of 2015. When completed in 2017/18 it will create approximate 2,500 jobs in the EZ and house the UK head office for HSBC’s personal and business banking operations.

Birmingham City University (BCU) completed their phase 2 campus in summer 2015. This has supported the unlocking of the Eastside Locks site. The Assay Office also moved into a state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility fronting Icknield Street in the Jewellery Quarter in July 2015.

In June 2015, the Centenary Square project saw the announcement of the international design competition winner as Graeme Massey. The Edinburgh architects produced a striking ‘Hall of Columns’ design.

The government has agreed to extend the City Centre EZ model, both in terms of geography and time to support the delivery of the ambitions for Curzon Station in the HS2 Growth Strategy. The GBSLEP will now be able to retain business rate growth for the whole EZ until 31st March 2046.

Enterprise Zone Investment plan

2014 Enterprise Zone Investment Plan  (Extension)

In July 2014 Birmingham City Council approved GBSLEP’s plans to increase the amount of funding available for EZ investments from £128 Million agreed in 2012 to £275 Million view the plan here. The increase in investment will help accelerate the delivery of new development and infrastructure in the City Centre as well as drive forward LEP priority projects across the Greater Birmingham area.

The significant increase in investment reflected: 

  • GBSLEP having more knowledge on the Governments plans for HS2
  • Renewed confidence in the EZ resulting from the positive progress made in delivering key schemes since its launch in 2011.
  • The need to accelerate investments aimed at exploiting the opportunities made available by HS2.

The £275 million package of funding will help the EZ deliver over 40,000 jobs, 1.4 million square metres of business and commercial floor space and will add £2bn a year to the local economy planned investments include:

  • Dedicated investment fund to support the delivery of LEP projects for the Greater Birmingham area.
  • Exploiting the opportunities HS2 will bring by extending the Enterprise Zone to include the redevelopment of 141 hectares in and around Curzon Street and  the HS2 hub.
  • An additional £26.5 million to provide funding for the final phase of the Paradise Circus scheme, delivering more than 150,000 square metres of office floor space.
  • £45.5 million has been identified to relocate the wholesale markets and deliver a new vibrant city centre destination through the development of the Southern Gateway site.
  • A further £62 million to further accelerate major EZ development schemes
  • Allocation of an initial £30 million to kick-start regeneration activity at Birmingham Curzon helping to accelerate growth ahead of the arrival of HS2. Link to hs2jobs and growth media page.
  • The creation of a £40 million fund to support the delivery of LEP priorities across the Great Birmingham area including £20m to support maximising the economic impact of the HS2 Interchange at the Airport/NEC
  • An expanded timeframe taking the investment plan to 2023

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