Today (Wednesday 15th March), a landmark 20-year growth plan will be revealed for the ‘Hub’ of UK Central Solihull. Launching at MIPIM 2017 in the Midlands UK Pavilion, this vision will outline a major opportunity for development and investment, and position the region as a major driver of economic growth.
The Growth & Infrastructure Plan, developed by UK Central’s Urban Growth Company (UGC), sets out the growth ambitions to maximise the full potential of this “once-in-a-generation” opportunity. The scale of the plan is unprecedented, with highlights including the potential for 775,000 sq m of new commercial and mixed-use floor space, up to 4,000 new homes and the delivery of a major economic boost worth up to £4.1bn in GVA each year. Through this vision, the UGC expects the creation of up to 77,500 new jobs.
Already home to global businesses and strategic economic assets including Birmingham Airport, the NEC and Jaguar Land Rover; the Hub is the location of the HS2 Interchange Station, placing the area 38 minutes from London Euston and creating one of the best-connected places in the UK by rail, road and air.
The Hub has already secured investment from UK Government, the West Midlands Combined Authority, HS2 Ltd and Highways England, with an expected £1.5bn of infrastructure investment over the next 10 years. Connecting to the wider region and national transport network, plans include the development of a multi-modal transport interchange at Birmingham International Station, connecting the HS2 Interchange with the NEC and Birmingham Airport via an automated people mover and linking to mainline rail, Metro and Bus Rapid Transit. This will also generate new development opportunities, with potential for over 315,000 sq m of commercial space.
To deliver this, the UGC will be the key facilitator, bringing together public and private sector partners and landowners, building political support and driving the infrastructure investment that will start as early as next year.
Councillor Ian Courts, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Managed Growth at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, commented:
“This plan allows us to showcase the truly global opportunity that is presented by the Hub. Growth and development ambitions around the HS2 Interchange and Arden Cross site, in addition to those of Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre and Jaguar Land Rover combine to create a compelling international investment destination for the worldwide stage.”
Nick Brown, Chair of UK Central Urban Growth Company, added:
“The scale of the opportunity is immense. The Hub will be built on strong foundations as the area already hosts outstanding businesses including a world class automotive research and manufacturer in Jaguar Land Rover; the globally connected Birmingham Airport, an International showcase venue for business, entertainment and world resort at the National Exhibition Centre; all nestled in an area surrounded by high quality homes and thriving businesses.
“The UGC is determined to ensure that our shared ambitions for the area are fully realised by coordinating investment plans and growth opportunities.”