New milestones for UK Central Hub marked

Video of drone footage launched highlighting progress made at development.

At the end of a year which has seen a number of key milestones reached at the UK Central Hub in Solihull, a new video has been launched, highlighting major development progress using never-before-seen drone footage.

The video shows how The Hub – the area of land near the M42 comprising Birmingham Airport, the NEC, Jaguar Land Rover and Birmingham Business Park, as well as the Arden Cross development site which will be home to the HS2 Interchange Station – is taking shape after undergoing major construction work over the last 12 months.

It has been commissioned by the Urban Growth Company, the organisation set up by Solihull Council to coordinate and lead infrastructure investment and development at The Hub.

One of the biggest projects to have made visible progress is the construction of a new roundabout over the HS2 line. After securing £20 million from the West Midlands Combined Authority last year, the UGC contracted with HS2 Ltd to construct supporting structures and passive provision that will accommodate additional planned growth in the area, above and beyond that resulting from the nearby HS2 Interchange Station.

The contractual agreement for this extra provision is the result of the UGC signing a ground-breaking Construction Framework Agreement with HS2 Ltd – the first time a third-party organisation has contracted with HS2 in this way.

The video also shows early works construction underway for the HS2 Interchange Station itself, alongside masterplan images from Arden Cross Ltd, depicting how the wider Arden Cross mixed-use development is set to evolve with the station at its centre.

The new Logistics Operating Centre currently being built at the Jaguar Land Rover site is visible, while future development plans for Birmingham Airport, the NEC and Birmingham Business Park are also featured.

Recently unveiled images of Birmingham International Station on the West Coast Mainline feature on the video too and show how the transformation into a new multi-modal transport facility will take shape to ensure the region is HS2-ready and HS2-connected.

Commenting on the progress made and looking forward to 2021, UGC Managing Director Jonathan Bretherton said: “The last twelve months have been critical as we’ve moved from planning to delivery on many of our projects.

“That progress is a result of the strong relationships we have with our public and private sector partners, which have allowed us to find innovative and new ways of working together, such as the Construction Framework Agreement we have agreed with HS2.

“Indeed, we’ve reached an in-principle agreement with HS2, the WMCA and Arden Cross Ltd, along with a funding plan, to deliver multi-storey car parks for up to 7,500 car parking spaces at the HS2 Interchange Station. This is a game-changing intervention because it removes the need for massive surface car parks and enables the £3bn gross development value scheme, years ahead of the HS2 Interchange Station opening.

“These projects, combined with other planned highways infrastructure projects and electricity reinforcements, are helping deliver our ambitious vision for The Hub – that is to create Europe’s best-connected destination for business, leisure and living; a new and outstanding international gateway.”

The new video for The Hub can be viewed here.