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02/11/2017

£1.6bn plan for Solihull hub

Words: Laura Edgar
The Hub site in Solihull / press release

A framework outlining how to deliver primary and secondary infrastructure to promote sustained and coordinated growth across an area in Solihull designated as The Hub has been unveiled.

The Hub area includes Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Jaguar Land Rover and Birmingham Business Park.

The Urban Growth Company (UGC), which is a delivery vehicle created to specifically realise the full economic potential of the HS2 Interchange Station and related infrastructure, designed and published the framework. The UGC’s aim is to unlock the potential of The Hub using a set of place-making principles to deliver a comprehensive Hub Growth and Infrastructure Plan (HGIP).

The framework builds on the HGIP, first published in March 2017 and updated in October 2017 to include the latest development plans from the NEC, Birmingham Airport and Jaguar Land Rover.

It also looks at the market demand for a range of sustainable developments to be delivered over the next 15 years as well as providing evidence to inform and support Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s review of its local plan, which is being processed.

Five existing development areas that reflect the major land holdings within The Hub are outlined:

  • Jaguar Land Rover Manufacturing Campus;
  • International Gateway at Birmingham Airport;
  • Pendigo Quarter at the NEC;
  • Birmingham Business Park; and the
  • Arden Cross site, which will be home to the new HS2 Interchange Station.

UGC said the framework also identifies the area around the Birmingham International main line rail station as one for potential significant growth potential, with existing station to be upgraded.

The place-making principles noted in the framework are:

  • Improved accessibility;
  • Networks of green spaces and natural waterways;
  • High-quality and sustainable communities;
  • Innovative and temporary use of land; and
  • A sense of place.

Nick Brown, chairman of the UGC, said: “Our growth and infrastructure plan suggested that there is potential to create up to 77,000 new jobs, 775,000 square metres of commercial space, 4,000 homes and £4.1 billion GVA per year. This framework plan sets out the details of what is needed and by when, to make that vision a reality.

“When it comes to The Hub, the ‘whole’ has the potential to be so much greater than the sum of the parts, rather than there being a piecemeal approach resulting in lots of disconnected sites. That’s why we’ve worked closely with those stakeholders to date, and will continue to do so as the vision becomes a reality.”

The framework can be found on the Urban Growth Company website.

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