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Birmingham’s £1bn Curzon investment plan sets the pace on HS2 regeneration vision

Birmingham’s £1bn Curzon investment plan sets the pace on HS2 regeneration vision

🕔14.Sep 2016

A £1 billion investment plan has been launched to deliver thousands of jobs and homes in a part of Birmingham that is set to be transformed by the arrival of HS2.

The Curzon Investment Plan is an ambitious 30 year strategy to unlock and regenerate the 141 hectares of land around the high speed rail Curzon Street Station, led by the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) and Birmingham City Council.

Creating 36,000 jobs, 4,000 new homes, unlocking 600,000 square metres of commercial floor space and connecting the eastside of Birmingham to the rest of the city and beyond, the investment is the first major financial commitment anywhere in the country to use HS2’s arrival as a catalyst for regeneration.

It also has the potential to add £1.4 billion to the local economy, according to GBSLEP.

In an indication of the importance being attached to the scheme, the Curzon Investment Plan has been welcomed by Theresa May, the Prime Minister.

Mrs May said:

I’m delighted that Greater Birmingham is making this investment in the future, working to maximise the potential of HS2 by investing in jobs and housing – and encouraging more business investment.

It was in Birmingham where I outlined my plan to build an economy that works for all, with a proper industrial strategy that delivers prosperity, job creation and higher wages across the country, not just in London.

That’s what the Curzon Investment Plan aims to do in Greater Birmingham, and my Government is right behind them.

The announcement of the Plan comes on the same day as the influential Public Accounts Committee of MPs issues a report saying HS2 costs are volatile and the project is likely to be a year behind schedule.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of HS2 Ltd is swapping trains for planes as he moves to Rolls Royce causing further concern about the project. 

Plans include the development of Curzon Street Station itself, several new neighbourhoods, offices and retail spaces as well as the creation of public places such as the Curzon Promenade and Curzon Square – which will incorporate the original Curzon Station, a Grade I listed building.

In total £907 million is being allocated to a variety of projects, and is made up of £586.8 million from the GBSLEP, which draws funds from business rates within the Enterprise Zone and £137.2 million from the newly formed devolved government, West Midlands Combined Authority.

A further £183.3 million towards the cost of delivering Metro extension projects, connecting the eastside of the city to central Birmingham and out to Birmingham International Airport and Solihull, where another HS2 station, an interchange, is planned.

Steve Hollis, Deputy Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP (GBSLEP), said:

The Curzon Investment Plan outlines how we will use HS2 as a trigger to transform an area of untapped potential in Birmingham’s city core and create thousands of new jobs, homes and places for businesses to thrive.

This demonstrates clearly what we can achieve in this region by being given the right tools by central government, to unlock our own future economic success.

Our commitment to invest is a bold statement of intent for how we will utilise HS2 as a catalyst for growth at every step. By setting out our plans and investing now, we will begin to realise the economic benefits of HS2 far sooner.

Councillor John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added:

It is an unprecedented time for Birmingham and the wider region. By working with partners from across the region, we have fuelled an economic renaissance with significant inward investment and the implementation of major infrastructure schemes.

HS2 is a unique opportunity that we must capitalise on now. Birmingham is at the heart of the HS2 network and the Curzon Investment Plan shows how we intend to use this position to create sustained economic growth and a legacy of new homes, jobs and neighbourhoods for our city.

The Curzon Investment Plan responds to the strategic direction set by the Curzon Masterplan, launched in February 2014, which is the city’s vision on how to fully integrate the city centre station alongside a package of wider interventions to unlock significant development opportunities across a large part of Birmingham’s city centre.

Both plans sit Curzon within the region-wide HS2 Midlands Growth Strategy, based on £4.4 billion of investment which will deliver new transport infrastructure and major economic growth.

The Curzon Regeneration Company will take responsibility for driving the delivery of Curzon. Established in July 2014 with Liz Peace CBE as chair, it has been instrumental in devising the strategy for the Curzon Investment Plan. The Shadow Board will now become the Curzon Delivery Board.

The regeneration and investment in infrastructure that the Curzon Investment Plan will deliver is also set to benefit other transformational projects currently underway or being developed in the city centre, including:

  • £500 million Birmingham Smithfield – a vibrant new retail, leisure and residential space
  • £1 billion Southern Gateway – an ambitious mixed use development;
  • A new cultural quarter’ in the eastside of the city called the ‘Knowledge Hub’;
  • £600 million development of city’s professional centre around Snow Hill – which is set to create 2.2 million sq ft of office space and 4,000 jobs.

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