GVA on Birmingham's transformation
Senior Regional Director at GVA, Ian Stringer, has been talking to Future Cities Forum about the transformation of Birmingham from the "motor city" of the 1960s into a headquarters location for top firms, such as HSBC (UK) and the HS2 delivery team. The virtually car-free core of the city, he explains, is helping the quality of life, for shoppers, office workers, families on cultural days out and tourists.
"The city has advanced culturally, with the re-worked New Street Station, the adjoining John Lewis store and the addition of long haul routes from Birmingham airport to the USA and Far East. Advanced manufacturing industries and Jaguar Land rover are still huge assets to the region, but much of the city has been given over to the pedestrian or to more sustainable transport like buses and the metro.
'The quality of the environment is a major factor in attracting investment to Birmingham, with improvement to public space created by walking links between the main stations and the new public realm improvements that have come with the big office projects', Ian states.
'There is no oversupply in offices with the two current major developments - 3 Snow Hill by Ballymore, funded by M&G, and Paradise, which already has a 75% pre-let on One Chamberlain Square to PwC - both due for completion in 2019.
'With a booming university quarter close to the proposed Curzon HS2 station, and plans to regenerate the Digbeth area of the city. Birmingham is on the cusp of real change around city centre living' he adds.