Birmingham is a technological powerhouse when it comes to cities in the UK, I suppose you have to be when you are the second largest city in Britain. It also helps that it is currently experiencing a huge period of key regeneration, with millions going into revamping different aspects of the city (in spite of the pandemic). This begs the question though, what does the future of Birmingham look like? Well, looking at some of the plans for the upcoming Birmingham projects clues us in on just what kind of super city we may be soon bearing witness to.
This is one of the most talked about developments at the moment going on in Birmingham. Providing Birmingham with 10 new buildings and over 280,000 square foot of mixed use space, this £700 million development looks to completely transform people’s views on what Birmingham is to them. On top of this, it will be providing over 1.7 million square foot of office space, leading the way for thousands of new job opportunities for expanding businesses. This allows Birmingham’s retail sector to really expand as retail in Birmingham is something that is looking to massively increase in the coming years.
This is a £450 million regeneration scheme quoted as one of the most exciting and important city centre renovation schemes in Europe. This is a massive 13 acre site which is going to be turn into apartments, a 175 room hotel, shops, bars, and restaurants, once again giving the retail sector in Birmingham a place in the spotlight.
A further £1.5 million will be put into completely upscaling the south of Birmingham under the Smithfield project. Work is planned to start in 2022, the main focal point would be Festival Square which is planned to “rival the best Europe has to offer”. This area will look over a museum, culture centres, markets, a hotel, leisure opportunities such as an ice rink and other family attractions.
There is a lot of greenery in Birmingham, there is no doubt about that, however within the last few years, over 10,000 people have signed a poll calling for “a green oasis in the heart of the city”. This, of course, is going to be something akin to Birmingham’s own version of the legendary park in New York City, Central Park.
Whilst Birmingham’s retail sector is certainly seeing a lot of love with these developments, the entertainment sector hasn’t been left high and dry either. With Steven Knight wanting to open a film and television studio in the Digbeth area, turning a large portion of land into a media paradise along with it. He is in talks with the Birmingham city council long with the mayor and is trying to make it happen to the best of his ability, hoping it “will have a big impact on the future of the city”.
Another exciting development that isn’t strictly building related is the announcement that the commonwealth games will be held in Birmingham in just 2 years’ time, just the announcement of this has boosted the West Midlands economy by a massive £750 million. There will be several new building developments, including the construction of an aquatics centre on Londonderry Fields in Smethwick. This is going to have an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a 25 metre diving pool and 1,000 spectator seats, once the games are over, this will be turned into a leisure centre. It will also have a huge games village with 1,072 new properties, flats and maisonettes alongside 79 houses and 268 extra care apartments.
In conclusion, Birmingham has a massive amount to look forward to, and whilst we are currently in the middle of a global pandemic, with the years going on, there is much to look forward to. Predominantly in the retail sector, Brummies will have a lot more to brag about when talking about Birmingham’s retail sector and just how many different services, brands, shops and other retail outlets they provide for the people of Birmingham.
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