Work to start on Three Snowhill following Snow Hill Masterplan launch

Confidence in city’s planning vision leads to a new detailed planning application for Three Snowhill.

Developer Ballymore has this week submitted a detailed planning application for Three Snowhill. The site will complete the Snowhill development in Birmingham, creating a city centre estate comprising nearly 1 million sq ft of premium office space to rival the quality of London’s.

The announcement was made at global real estate show MIPIM today, following a presentation about the Snow Hill Masterplan – which covers the area in which the project is based – on the Greater Birmingham stand.

Three Snowhill is a 400,000 sq ft statement building for the Colmore Business Distinct area – the business, professional and financial serviceshub for Greater Birmingham. The scheme will offer 360,000 sq ft of Grade A offices over 16 storeys, complemented with 40,000 sq ft of leisure and retail space, and ancillary parking spaces over four floors.

Ballymore previously secured outline consent for Three Snowhill in 2013. Ballymore’s Project Director for Snowhill, Richard Probert, said: “This is the right time to move forward with Three Snowhill. We were encouraged to push ahead with the scheme after securing the letting of the last available space in Two Snowhill to HS2, and seeing the launch of the Snow Hill Masterplan – which demonstrates the ambition and strategic vision needed to enhance and grow Birmingham city centre’s valuable business district. The Masterplan aims to attract more investment, business and people into the city – and we are aiming to capitalise on these plans with the delivery of Three Snowhill.”

The announcement follows the unveiling of the city’s 20-year Snow Hill Masterplan by Birmingham City Council and the Colmore Business District last month. Covering the Snow Hill and Colmore areas of the city, it provides a framework to create 10,000 new jobs, generate over 200,000 sq m of new office space, and boost the local economy by over £600 million each year.

The Masterplan is designed to attract new investment from global BPFS firms in particular. It outlines the improvement of transport links such as the redevelopment of Snow Hill station, along with the transformation of the A38 to create a new urban boulevard, and the creation of a new urban neighbourhood that includes 4,000 new residential units.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “Ballymore’s news shows that the bold thinking behind the Snow Hill Masterplan is already helping to deliver new schemes for Birmingham’s expanding business community. Investment into Birmingham is gaining momentum. Despite a number of major schemes completing this year – such as New Street Station and Grand Central – we have several others on the horizon, including Paradise and Arena Central, which will continue to transform our city.”

The Snowhill development comprises three office buildings, offering a combined 970,000 sq ft of the highest quality Grade A office space. One Snowhill was completed in 2009 and now has high-profile tenants including KPMG, Barclays Bank and DWF. Two Snowhill opened in 2013 and has attracted organisations including global law firm Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co and the new construction headquarters for HS2, which will create 1,500 jobs.

Both Two and Three Snowhill are based within Birmingham city centre’s Enterprise Zone. This enables the tenants of both buildings to benefit from support including rates relief worth up to £275,000 – which has already helped to stimulate demand for Two Snowhill.

Andy Street, chairman of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, commented: “The success of Two Snowhill highlights that leveraging public sector funding can directly lead to fresh private sector investment, new jobs and the broadening of key industries as new companies are enticed here. While the EZ has helped to deliver some 60,000 sqm of developments in Birmingham city centre last year, it will start to generate economic growth across the wider Greater Birmingham area through our £275 million EZ Investment Plan.”

Waheed Nazir, Director for Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council, added: “Three Snowhill will be an exciting new addition to the sites being built in Birmingham to cater for an increase in demand from businesses for quality office space. With the city expected to experience a shortage of Grade A supply by the end of the year, it is welcome news that Three Snowhill is now moving forward.”

More businesses are flocking to Greater Birmingham than ever before. The region secured 95 foreign direct investment projects in 2013/14, the highest on record and more than any other English area. Birmingham also welcomed more start-ups than any other city in 2014, according to StartUp Britain – a total of 18,000 new businesses.