Birmingham Property Development and Investment


20th November 2013

11 Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1

Event Summary


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World In Property and the UK Property Forums are proud to announce this 2nd annual conference on Property Development and Investment in Birmingham as a joint venture.

Birmingham will grow by 150.000 people towards 2031 – suggesting new development of at least £15bn in homes (£8bn), offices (£1.5bn), retail (£1.5bn) and infrastructure (£2bn). Add to this massive regeneration budgets such as the Paradise Circus (£450m for 1.8m sq ft) and long overdue investments in infrastructure, not least of which is the HS2 rail link which, from an infrastructure perspective, is the kind of deal that can seal the fate of an urban area for the next half century.

Although the Birmingham City Council will focus on consolidating the existing programme, they also seek to maximise external funding for new initiatives through the Local Enterprise Partnership and Regional Growth Funding. The Council will have some flexibility in their capital planning with prudential borrowing, but the fundamental objective is to optimise the use of public resources in conjunction with partners.

Following a redesign of the planning and regeneration strategy, the focus will be on key regeneration areas, major developments and continued delivery of Big City projects. This Big City Plan seeks to capitalise on the Enterprise Zones in place to create £875m worth of public sector infrastructure investment that will lever over £10bn of private sector investment and stimulate vast private sector development across the wider city, generating hundreds of millions of pounds in business rate uplift revenue to fund LEP economic development activities and deliver further growth.

With 10 new projects funded, Birmingham is the only UK city outside of London to se a year-on-year increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2012. The money is historically mostly US, but rumor has it that a flush of Japanese money is currently looking at the broader UK property market. This inward investment is crucial to create momentum in Birmingham and both private and public organisations would be wise to welcome it.


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Session One

08:30 – 09:15

Networking and Introductions

Welcome and conference start from Matthew Battle, Director, UK Property Forums

09:20 – 09:50

This is Our Time – A Vision for Birmingham

Birmingham Development Over the Next 20 years. With a population increase of 10,000 a year, the decision to go ahead with the £32bn High-Speed rail link and enough US private investment attention to carry Birmingham into it’s rightful 2nd place development and investment area after London prospects are looking good going forward. But how will the city govern the coming development? What plans are in place and which decisions are still pending? How will private investors play a role, where and when? Overview of major development zones now and long term, city planning schemes and grand vision of Birmingham towards 2030.

Session Two

09:50 – 10:15

Planning for Change: Zones, infrastructure and more

Overview of current city planning: zones, infrastructure and the Planning Department’s view of progress and challenges in the roll out of The Big City Plan. How is the constantly changing population forecasts being handled from a planning perspective and how does the planning department view its role of translating political vision into concrete opportunities for local and non-local developers?

Session Three

10:15 – 10:45

Birmingham Commercial Property Market: 2014-2018

How will the market for offices, retail, residential investments and logistic/industry space develop in the next 6 years? Will the increasing demand for grade A offices surpass availability? How will the twice as high inflow of young adults compared to outflow affect rent levels, ‘hot zones’ and the demand of tenancy vs. ownership residential supply? What types of investors are active in the market and can they find what they are looking for? Yield rates, vacancy rates and layover times on prime and sub-prime properties.

10:45 – 11:15

Morning Coffee Break

Chance to Network and Review Morning Sessions

Session Four

11:15 – 11:45

This Could Be Paradise: 1.8m Square Feet of Central Redevelopment

City Council approved a £450m plan for Paradise Circus in December. With its 1.8m sq ft between Centenary Square and Chamberlain Square this is the largest inner city redevelopment scheme in the UK presently. A major overhaul of the city centre, integrating flows of footfall and creating a more open and welcoming mixed use environment, is a crucial step in the overall strategic pull towards a Birmingham able to support a rising knowledge economy. Enabling works to start earl/mid-2015. Timeline, scope and presentation of the project in its most recent form.

Session Five

11:45 – 12:15

East Side Story – now looking towards 2013-2020?

Last years planning approval of the Eastside locks 1.5 million sq ft mixed-use development, Curzon Street 1.4m sq ft scheme, as well as Martineau Galleries, City Park Gate and Birmingham City University developments has moved the 9m sq ft East Side masterplan into its next phase of development (2015-2020) that is currently being planned around the arrival of the HS2. Based on sheer volume and the promise of HS2, Eastside is arguably the most promising of the five city development sectors, comprising several developers and partnerships seeking to extend the city centre. What necessary funding and infrastructure is already in place and what will be the first schemes to get under way? Delivery plans to 2020 and beyond.

Session Six

12:15 – 13:00

Panel Discussion: Birmingham 2020 – how should it look and how to get there?

3-4 panelists discuss the road forward for Birmingham: as a city, a development opportunity and as an investment market. All delegates are encouraged to participate, ask questions and join the discussion.

13:00 – 14:00

Conference Ends with Lunch and Networking

Conference Close
Options of site visit by foot to the Library of Birmingham and other key development
Site visit to 11 Brindley Place, Birmingham with Argent


Robert Groves

Senior Project Director, Argent Services LLP

Rob Groves, Senior Project Director with Argent has over 30 years of planning, design and construction experience. Prior to joining Argent  …Read more

James Heather

Partner, Argent Services LLP

James has over 17 years’ construction and development experience. James started working for Argent in 1999 …Read more

Matthew Battle

Chair, UK Property Forums

Matthew joined Bovis in the UK in 1982 and worked on various projects business development across the UK until 1993, when he joined PMI …Read more

Lisa Pilkington

Midlands Editor & Scotland Correspondent Estates Gazette

became Midlands’ Editor of EG in June 2005 and Scotland Correspondent in November 2011.

Andrew Round

Assistant Director for Planning and Development at Birmingham City Council

he is responsible for Planning and Regeneration in the City Centre and North Birmingham.

Ian Stringer

Regional Senior Director, Midlands GVA

Ian  has been at GVA in Birmingham for nearly 30 years with much of his time spent during that period focussed on the Central Birmingham Office Market.

Rick Robinson

Executive Architect, IBM

he is responsible for the development and delivery of Smarter City solutions for IBM’s customers in the UK and Europe, and a member of the Academy of Urbanism.