Keys handed over to first major Eastside Locks customer

Transfer marks completion of the first phase of canalside regeneration scheme.

Global property group Goodman has announced that it has officially handed over the first major office development, named The Joseph Priestley Building, as part of the Eastside Locks regeneration project.

Birmingham City University has signed a lease for the 45,500 sq ft of Grade A office space, situated next door to its new Curzon and Parkside buildings, which will be home to 400 of the University’s professional services staff from September 2016.

Previously known as 6 Cardigan Street, staff at the University were invited to give the facility a name, with The Joseph Priestley Building picked as the eventual winner. Priestley, a one-time Birmingham resident, is famous for his educational theory that aimed to move students away from classical learning towards a modern, practical curriculum.

The handover of The Joseph Priestley Building to Birmingham City University follows planning permission for the next phase of the Eastside Locks development and will see Goodman deliver further new Grade A office space at 8 Cardigan Street. Phase two also includes Goodman’s restoration of Belmont Works, the fire damaged and locally listed former cycle factory, into contemporary offices suitable for digital, technology and creative services, which is due to commence later this year.

After beginning speculative construction in November 2014, Eastside Locks is on track to deliver more than a million square feet of new space that will transform a once forgotten part of the city into a thriving business, living and leisure destination. Businesses will benefit from its location within the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, the increasing connectivity of Birmingham including its position on the doorstep of HS2, its reduced business rates and access to high quality graduates.

James Raven, Goodman’s Development Director, UK Business Parks, said: “Goodman’s collaboration with Birmingham City University goes from strength to strength. We are delighted that the University chose 6 Cardigan Street at Eastside Locks and as it continues to grow, this is the ideal place for connecting the Institution’s talent with both the booming start-up scene and with larger businesses that are looking to escape the rising costs of London.

“The completion of the first phase of Eastside Locks is a really exciting milestone for us. With the second phase scheduled to begin on site later this year, our vision for the project and the benefits for occupiers are both becoming a reality. Aided by the future arrival of HS2 and the work of key partners, we will unlock the potential for Eastside Locks to become a truly progressive Business and Innovation hub.”

Professor Cliff Allan, Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University, said: “The face of Eastside is very different compared to 10 years ago. There is significant investment coming into the area, which is accelerating its transformation. As a University, we are proving our commitment to continuing this with the ongoing expansion of our City Centre Campus, including the lease of The Joseph Priestley Building.”

Councillor John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “This is a hugely significant step in an ongoing project to regenerate a key canalside location and breathe new life into this area of the city.

“The completion of this first phase now paves the way for the continued transformation of this important site into a thriving destination for people to work, live and enjoy themselves, attracting further investment in our city, creating more jobs and further boosting our economy. I am excited to see this project develop.”

Goodman is delivering Eastside Locks in partnership with Birmingham City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency. In total, the masterplan provides some 650,000 sq ft of office space, together with shops, bars, restaurants, residential spaces and a hotel providing a total of 1.25m sq. ft, all situated within a secure managed and landscaped environment with high quality public spaces alongside the Digbeth branch of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal.