A MESSAGE FROM COUNCILLOR TIMOTHY HUXTABLE,
CABINET MEMBER (TRANSPORT, ENVIRONMENT AND REGENERATION)
As the Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration, I see firsthand every day how the city council and its partners are working together to move major initiatives forward and support Birmingham’s future growth and prosperity. There are a number of projects planned across the city and below is an outline of just some of those projects that will add to the economic, cultural and creative diversity that makes our city so special.
Within the city centre the development of a new public square in Church Street, with high quality material (paving, benches, planting), will create an excellent piece of public realm that links the business district with the Jewellery Quarter. The square is being developed by the city council in partnership with Colmore Business District, and will enable people to pause and enjoy the area, as well as taking in events and cultural activities. This project is part of the Big City Plan Initiative Programme, and the full business case has been presented to the Procurement Committee and it is envisaged that work will start on-site by the end of the year.
The Albion Square project seeks to bring forward environmental enhancements at the junction of Carver Street, Legge Lane and Albion Street in the core of the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area. The project is to be funded from a S106 agreement which was secured specifically for this purpose and has a total cost of £271,474. Designs have been prepared in line with the feedback gathered from previous consultation with residents, ward members and the business community. The improvements will create an attractive public space using traditional Jewellery Quarter materials. Safety and accessibility will be improved for pedestrians by extending the footway and creating prominent crossing points. The Albion Square full business case, currently on route to Cabinet Committee Procurement for approval, plans the implementation of the improvements starting July 2011. This would result in the scheme being completed during October 2011.
Across the city there are a number of further developments that will help shape our neighbourhoods and boost their economies.
, for example, will soon be home to a new public square designed and implemented by a unique partnership between a local church, local businesses and the city council. This scheme, which is jointly funded by grants from the National Lottery Community Spaces scheme and the city council, will provide a sustainable space for calm reflection in this busy local centre.
The scheme incorporates part of the former churchyard and the area at the corner of the High Street and Vicarage Road in order to unify these previously disparate areas. It is currently under construction and due to be completed in October, when the square will provide a new home for the thriving farmers’ market and other community events.
In Tyseley we have designated the area an ‘Environmental Enterprise District’, with the vision of making it the principal location in Birmingham for C02 reduction as part of a low carbon, low waste economy. This will be achieved by encouraging recycling, energy production and renewables, including manufacturing and supply chain development. We are promoting a business-led approach to achieving sustainable development in Tyseley and will seek to capitalise on emerging markets in environmental and low carbon technologies which will compensate for the decline of traditional industries.
European Regional Development Fund investment of £1m forms part of an overall funding package of £4.9 million which will assist businesses to improve their property and utilise other used space and empty sites is a first step in the Tyseley Environmental Enterprise District through the creation of the Tyseley Property Assistance Programme (TPAP).
TPAP seeks to stimulate long-term growth, enabling physical improvements, employment growth and retention. It will enhance economic competitiveness through new build, the
extension of commercial premises, internal works, demolitions, land clearance and reclamation – all of which will lead to new commercial spaces.
Within Longbridge there are a number of initiatives that are assisting in the area’s development, as set out in the Longbridge Area Action Plan. Proposals for the former MG Rover plant site include plans for 10,000 jobs, 2,000 new homes built to high environmental standards, a new local centre to provide a wide range of retail, leisure, commercial and community facilities and a series of public transport and highway improvements.
Subject to the city council finalising agreements with the developer and Big Lottery Fund, work on the Longbridge Youth Centre (myplace) will shortly begin on site, with completion in summer 2012. The youth centre will support a range of sporting activities, creative and performing arts, active citizenship and volunteering, youth business, social enterprise, guidance counselling (such as health services), education, training and career advice.
The new £66 million, 250,000 sq ft Bournville College represents first phase of the new Longbridge Town Centre, aims to open September 2011. The educational facility will have capacity for over 15,000 students and will feature modern training facilities for hairdressing, beauty, floristry, catering, construction and sport as well as a state-of-the-art conference centre. The £7 million programme of road works on A38/Bristol Road South is progressing and will be completed to coincide with opening of the College.
Housing within the area will be enhanced through the Lickey Road housing scheme, which will deliver 115 new homes. There will be 34 affordable housing units. The scheme is being supported by a £3,661,000 funding agreement between HCA and developer St. Modwen.
Proposals to develop the £70 million Longbridge Town Centre mixed use scheme include 7,900 sq metre supermarket, 24 new retail shops and restaurants, 40 apartments, hotel and town centre park. Aspiration is to start on site summer 2011. The development of the new town centre will provide a much needed economic boost and will help meet the needs and aspirations of the local community as identified in the Longbridge Area Action Plan. St. Modwen hopes to start on site in summer 2011, subject to further successful negotiations with Birmingham City Council.
Aston East Regional Investment Site
(RIS): for the next two decades the RIS will represent one of the single largest business investment opportunities in the West Midlands and a focus for transformational change. The site is 18.3ha in area and includes proposals for a mix of business, commercial and open space areas. It will be developed in four phases over an 18 year period and, when complete, will generate over 3,000 new job opportunities. The RIS is being promoted through the Aston, Newtown and Lozells Area Action Plan, and land for the bulk of the Phase 1 development (the Holte and Priory site) has already been assembled.
A development framework is being prepared for the site, which will identify an appropriate layout, built form and street hierarchy of development, alongside key infrastructure requirements. This framework will support the AAP submission document in demonstrating how the RIS will be developed and delivered. In addition it will help in the marketing of the site to prospective developers.
These are but a few examples of the drive and dynamism that characterise our city as we move forward to strengthen the range of opportunities for local people and businesses. I am sure you will join me in fully supporting these projects to ensure that the Birmingham of the 21st century is a city that can compete locally, nationally and internationally.