The Big City Plan is a major development plan for the city centre of Birmingham.
Stage 2 of the Big City Plan, the City Centre Masterplan, was launched on 29 September 2010. This masterplan sets out how the city centre of Birmingham will be improved over the next 20 years.
The aim of the plan is to increase the size of the city core by 25%, improving transport connectivity throughout the seven quarters that make up the city centre. It identifies how the city centre population will grow, providing more than 5,000 new homes and 50,000 new jobs, as well as the £600M redevelopment of New Street Station and Grand Central, which opened in September 2015, a new Library of Birmingham which opened in September 2013, and Eastside City Park which was opened in 2012, the first new city centre park since Victorian times.
Grand Central & New Street Station
Grand Central shopping centre opened its doors on 24th September 2015 after a 5 year, £600M build as part of the New Street Station redevelopment. There are 66 shops in the new centre, including department stores, fashion retailers and restaurants. The new station concourse is five times larger than its predecessor and designed to cope with up to 52 million passengers a year. The revamp includes two new entrances as well as extra escalators and lifts to platforms, as well as a naturally lit atrium which gives the station a particularly light and airy feel.
Centro is on the brink of completing a £127M project to install a tram network through Birmingham city centre. The trams are due to start running in October with the project set to be fully operational by the end of 2015.
The Metro will follow a route over the new viaduct at Snow Hill serving a new stop then through the city centre serving stops on Bull Street, Corporation Street then to the new Birmingham New Street Gateway on Stephenson Street.
The route will further increase as the Metro is planned to go to Centenary Square and along Broad Street over the next five years, while an eventual extension into Wolverhampton city centre is also planned.
A further Birmingham line to deliver trams to proposed HS2 station at Curzon Street before heading out through Digbeth and on to the International Airport and NEC is also being planned.
The £500M transformation of Paradise Circus, covering seventeen acres of land between Centenary Square and Chamberlain Square, started on 5th January 2015.
The development will be known simply as "Paradise", reflecting the fact that the "circus" element of the site will disappear when the section of Paradise Circus Queensway road running alongside Birmingham Town Hall from Great Charles Street is pedestrianised as part of the transformation.
Paradise is to be transformed into a vibrant, mixed use development of commercial, retail, leisure, hotel and public space, providing major improvements to pedestrian access and greatly enhanced public realm.
Phase one of Paradise includes the demolition of Birmingham Central Library, extensive highways works, construction of two new office buildings - One and Two Chamberlain Square - 172,000 sq ft and 180,000 sq ft respectively, and enhancements to the public space.
Fronting Broad Street and adjacent to Centenary Square, the 9.2 acre Arena Central development represents a highly deliverable, highly desirable location for work, leisure and retail.
Arena Central has been masterplanned to provide a truly mixed-use location in the heart of Birmingham city centre.
The site has planning consent in place for the delivery of:
- Up to 670,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation
- Up to 530,000 sq ft of residential
- Ancillary retail/leisure
Designed to meet Birmingham’s growing demand for high quality office space and city centre residential accommodation, the vision for the site is to create a vibrant, class-leading development, set around a unique and innovative public realm.
Great Charles Place
The Great Charles Place development planned for the Jewellery Quarter in January 2016 will be Birmingham's first private rented sector (PRS) scheme.
The £55 million first phase of Great Charles Place is set to include 320 apartments ranging from studios to three bedrooms, as well as 20,000 sq ft of ground floor retail and leisure space and a mix of units, totalling 8,000 sq ft to cater for small businesses.
The second phase of the scheme entails a 205,000 sq ft office development. The grade A offices will have with floorplates of around 15,000 sq ft over 14 floors.
The £189M Library of Birmingham replaced the Birmingham Central Library and opened in September 2013. It has been described as the largest public library in the United Kingdom, the largest public cultural space in Europe, and the largest regional library in Europe.
The library provides a showcase for the city's internationally important collections of archives, photography and rare books. It delivers services through collaboration between the library, The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, partners and communities. It provides a dynamic mix of events, activities and performance together with outstanding resources, exhibitions and access to expert help for learning, information and culture. It is a centre of excellence for literacy, research, study, skills development, entrepreneurship, creative expression, health information and much more.
University of Birmingham
The University is in the midst of one of the most exciting and transformational campus redevelopments since the first phase of building on the Edgbaston campus was completed in 1909 under the auspices of Sir Aston Webb.
The development projects, worth close to £400M over the next five years, will create outstanding new facilities which will benefit students, staff, visitors and the local community – whilst drawing on Aston Webb’s original campus masterplan, as well as subsequent plans, and laying a sound basis for the future.
The project will enhance the setting of those buildings and features which represent the University’s heritage, and open up a striking green park at the heart of the campus – allowing the Joseph Chamberlain clock tower to be seen across campus, as was originally envisaged. The work will create new pedestrian routes including one from central campus to the Vale Village, to allow students, staff and visitors to move between different areas of campus with ease.
Following extensive public consultation, work is now underway on many of the schemes which form this redevelopment, including a brand new sports centre on the junction of Bristol Road and Edgbaston Park Road, an outstanding academic library with a dedicated research annexe and a hub bringing together several student services. The Chamberlain halls of residence at the northern end of the Vale Village are also currently being redeveloped with a new tower and three lower residential blocks being constructed.
The need for housing in Birmingham continues to grow, not only as a result of population growth within the city, but also because more and more people are choosing to move to the city to make it their home.
To meet this demand, Birmingham has unveiled its largest-ever housing plan as the city expects to grow by the equivalent population of Oxford over the next 16 years, i.e. the city’s population is set to grow by 150,000 by 2031.
Birmingham City Council is targeting £9 billion of investment from property developers to meet the target of 80,000 new homes, having identified some 40 major brownfield sites throughout the city.
The Council has also stated that it is very keen to see the development of purpose built Private Rental Sector (PRS) housing in Birmingham, both to increase supply of housing overall, and to drive up standards in this sector.
As an example, Arena Central is bringing to the market 412 brand new residential apartments across two buildings, a 26-storey tower delivering 245 apartments, and a 10-storey adjacent block delivering a further 168 units.
Two new Grade A office blocks are being constructed as part of the Paradise redevelopment.
One Chamberlain Square, is a seven storey building at the very heart of the development, fronting both Chamberlain Square and the proposed Northern Square.
The 172,000 sq ft building will have a large roof terrace on the sixth floor offering spectacular views across the city, while a series of restaurants and retail units will sit at ground level. Benefiting from the latest facilities and amenities, the open and efficient floorplates vary from 16,000 sq ft to over 23,500 sq ft and offer a range of layout options.
Two Chamberlain Square will be a 180,000 sq ft building in a similar vain to One.
A new 50,000 sq ft office is being created at The Mailbox as part of a £50 million project to rejuvenate the landmark building.
The giant office is being created, including an open glass atrium-style office reception, and is expected to be on the market some time in 2015.
Alongside its 135,000 sq ft of Grade A offices – with typical floorplates of 21,000 sq ft – 1 Arena Central offers 5,000 sq ft of high quality retail space with an inset terrace facing out towards Centenary Square.
The basement provides 68 car parking spaces, alongside 54 secure cycle spaces with lockers and showers. Funding is currently being sought to develop 1 Arena Central on a speculative basis. 2 Arena Central has already been snapped up by HSBC who is planning to have 2,500 employees in place by early 2018.