Boost for Birmingham brownfield development

£3.6 million backing from WMCA Collective Investment Fund.

A derelict brownfield site in Birmingham will soon be back in industrial use thanks to a £3.6 million investment by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The loan is from its Collective Investment Fund to developers Barberry Developments towards a £5.6 million scheme to build a 65,000 square foot industrial/manufacturing unit in Aston. The 2.9 acre site is part of the Advanced Manufacturing Hub in Queens Road, close to Junction 6 of the M6, and work is expected to be completed this summer.

The AMH is a joint initiative between Birmingham City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency aimed at the manufacturing sector. Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “The CIF is making a significant impact across the region’s economy. This latest investment will help accelerate the development of sites where demand is strong and will therefore generate considerable economic value to the region.”

Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “The AMH has brought much-needed jobs and investment to Aston and this financial backing from the WMCA is a vote of confidence in the Hub’s continued success. Birmingham is booming and the manufacturing sector has a big part to play in delivering inclusive economic growth for people across the city.”

Jon Robinson, development director of Barberry Developments said the scheme would be a best-in-class industrial/manufacturing unit built to the Very Good rating under the international BREEAM building sustainability standards.“It will provide regional, national and global occupiers the quality of accommodation needed to expand, create jobs or relocate their businesses within the West Midlands,” he added.

“Both the combined investment of the CIF and Barberry will create an estimated 116 new full time jobs within the region. In addition to this we are indirectly employing around 130 personnel while developing this site providing the much needed employment for the West Midlands construction sector.”

The CIF is a £70 million commercial development war-chest set up by the WMCA to stimulate jobs, opportunity and growth. It is aimed at unlocking a further £1 billion in private sector investment over the next 10 years.

Managed by Finance Birmingham, it provides short-term loans to private sector developers to enable them to get speculative schemes off the ground. So far within the last year it has committed £43.3 milion into twelve regeneration projects across the region. Last year Barberry received £2.9 million from the CIF towards redevelopment of the old Tuckers Fasteners site in Perry Barr, Birmingham.

Nick Oakley, head of property investments at Finance Birmingham, commented: “We are delighted to support Barberry with the redevelopment of a key strategic industrial site in the West Midlands. We have more funds available for eligible West Midlands regeneration projects and would welcome any developers or land owners to contact us directly.”