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Top property boss named as chair of Birmingham Curzon regeneration company

Top property boss named as chair of Birmingham Curzon regeneration company

🕔11.Mar 2015

Former British Property Federation chief executive Liz Peace has been appointed chair of the Birmingham Curzon Urban Regeneration Company, which is responsible for redeveloping land surrounding the planned Curzon HS2 station.

Launched in July 2014, the company is leading on regenerating 141 hectares around the station, one of the largest schemes of its kind in the country.

Peace, who grew up in Birmingham, retired last year after spending nearly 13 years at the BPF, the lobbying organisation for the UK’s commercial property industry.

She has also been director of corporate affairs at defence specialist QinetiQ and worked at the Ministry of Defence.

Peace holds non-executive roles at companies including EC Harris, Morgan Sindall and Turley and is chair of the property industry’s charity, LandAid.

The appointment of Peace is a further step forward for Birmingham’s plan to capitalise on the benefits HS2. The city has already been announced as the home to HS2’s construction headquarters – creating 1,500 jobs – and co-host to the HS2 College, which will train some 2,000 engineering apprentices.

The establishment of the Birmingham Curzon Urban Regeneration Company follows the launch of the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan in February last year.

The Masterplan outlined how stimulating the area’s economic growth could deliver 14,000 jobs, some 600,000 sq m of new employment floorspace, more than 2,000 homes and up to £1.3 billion a year to the local economy.

HS2 is expected to create some 26,000 jobs across the Greater Birmingham & Solihull area and boost the West Midlands’ economy by £4 billion per year.

The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has allocated £30 million to the company to accelerate regeneration activity in the Curzon Street area – and a further £130 million from the area’s Growth Deal to support the extension of the Midland Metro tram network to Curzon Street.

Curzon will be a main element within the LEP’s HS2 Growth Strategy, which is being submitted to the Government on 30th April .

City council leader Sir Albert Bore, who announced Peace’s appointment at the MIPIM property fair in France, said Birmingham was united around a practical plan to reap the rewards of HS2, which would ease London’s growth challenges particularly around the shortage of housing supply and office space.

Andy Street, Chair of the GBSLEP, commented:

HS2 is already helping us to unlock the potential of Greater Birmingham. The Curzon Street area and UK Central in Solihull are at the heart of the national HS2 network – which is vital to the work we’re doing to promote Greater Birmingham’s resurgence, and places the area at the heart of Britain’s new economy.

Peace heads a shadow board for the Birmingham Curzon Urban Regeneration Company, which met for the first time earlier this month.

The board consists of members of local and national government as well as the transport industry. They comprise Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council; Andy Street, Chair of the GBSLEP; Duncan Sutherland, non-executive Board Member and Regeneration Lead at HS2 Ltd; David Prout, Director General of HS2 at the Department for Transport; and Geoff Inskip, Chief Executive of Centro. The company is expected to be incorporated by the end of the year.

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