BIRMINGHAM STRENGTHENS TIES WITH CHINA

Chinese investors have made a deal with Birmingham City Council for a £55 million development of a former disused (brownfield) city centre site which will see Over 200 apartments constructed.

The consortium of investors from Hong Kong and Macau will fund the redevelopment of the Cedar House site at William Street, off Broad Street –  the site of a former council data centre. It follows a visit by council leader John Clancy to China in September in which he signed a £2 billion agreement with another property developer, Country Garden, to invest into Birmingham housing developments.

 This deal further enhances Birmingham’s growing links with China – in the last five years, the city has secured more Chinese investment projects that any other regional city – 23 investments safeguarding over 1,400 jobs. John Gunning, of the consortium, said: “We were impressed by Coun Clancy’s vision and passion for housing when we met him in Hong Kong and are delighted to be investing in homes for Birmingham.”

Coun Clancy added: “This is excellent news and demonstrates that Birmingham is open for business in a challenging post-Brexit landscape.” Coming on top of the £2 billion agreement with Country Garden to deliver much-needed homes for our citizens, this is proof that Birmingham can attract global investors. There’s a housing crisis in this country and Birmingham is no exception. We need more affordable homes, we need more social housing and we need to give people hope. There can be no one-size-fits-all solution to the housing shortage but we can make plenty of progress by identifying and pushing ahead with brownfield city centre sites like William Street.

He said this was great news for housing in Birmingham, coming on top of recent announcements by private companies backing major developments at Connaught Square in Digbeth and the Garden Square scheme near Five Ways in Edgbaston.

Birmingham and Sandwell councils are also marketing a £400 million housing-led development in its Greater Icknield and Smethwick Housing Growth Prospectus.

Council strategic director for economy Waheed Nazir said: “Birmingham has an ambitious growth agenda. We are planning for a significant number of new homes to meet the needs of our growing population and support the growth of our economy.”

New investment is hugely important to this growth agenda. Announcements like this, together with the recent launch of a £724 million investment plan to maximise the benefits of HS2, demonstrate that confidence in the city is high.

“The delivery of new homes, quality of life and employment opportunities will continue to see Birmingham as an attractive place to invest.”

Top Capital Group will act as the funder and ultimate owner of the site through the establishment of William Street Investment Co, which will buy a long lease on the land, generating funds for the council.

Artists Impression of developed site

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