business

Review of 2014 - March: Paradise Circus takes shape, £3.3m for Stirchley baths and Super Prix on table

Spring is in the air in our annual review and March saw more details about the massive Paradise circus regeneration and the possibility of Birmingham's Super Prix returning reared its head again

Grant Associates' public realm plans for Paradise Circus

Future for Paradise Circus becomes clear at MIPIM 2014

The future for the Paradise Circus scheme became clearer after an architect practice was selected to design 17 acres of public space in the centre of Birmingham.

Grant Associates won a competition to design the area, unveiled at MIPIM, beating competition from GROSS MAX, Gillespies and Gustafson Porter.

David Partridge, managing partner of Argent, which is delivering the key scheme, said it was a major step forward.

He said: "All the entries were of the highest quality and clearly followed the brief to create a world class public realm that would complement the listed historical and contemporary new buildings."

£3.3m Stirchley Baths regeneration work commences

Work commenced on a £3.3 million project to convert the historic Stirchley Baths building into a community hub for residents of south Birmingham.

Balfour Beatty's work on the Grade II listed building, originally opened in 1910, will involve the conversion of the former local swimming pool into a multipurpose hall for sport, recreational and community activities, as well as the provision of meeting rooms, a cafe and classrooms.

The work was commissioned as a result of campaigning by the local community with the support of Birmingham City Council which secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Ministry move could see Super Prix back on track

A return of Birmingham's legendary Super Prix would see crowds of more than 100,000 on the streets of the city, the original event's organiser claims.

Hopes are rising that the street race could return after the government launched consultation that would allow local authorities to close roads for motor sport events.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller, launched the consultation to give councils the right to suspend the Road Traffic Act without resorting to an act of parliament, something Birmingham had to do when it ran the Super Prix from 1986 to 1990.

The Birmingham streets covered by new 20mph zones

A string of Birmingham streets are to be made 20mph zones in the first round of speed cuts.

Detailed maps issued by the city council revealed Moseley, Kings Heath, Harborne and Sparkhill had all been targeted for reductions within the next 12 months. The authority's Labour bosses agreed to cut speed limits on residential roads.

XE Saloon: The most important car Jaguar will make

Jaguar Land Rover can currently do no wrong – but it is no secret the driving force behind its resurgence has been the Land Rover brand. Sales of Jaguar cars were small in comparison and last year 76,668 big cats were sold throughout the world, while Land Rover saw sales of 348,383.

Some analysts predicted the Jaguar XE would be the start of a product offensive as the firm seeks to quadruple its sales.

Pebble Mill plans get green light for 'final piece in jigsaw'

Developers were handed the green light to complete the final phase of the £200 million Pebble Mill redevelopment.

With the scheme already 75 per cent let, Edgbaston-based developer Calthorpe Estates was granted planning consent for a 53,800 sq ft healthcare facility on plot four.

Bordered by the Bristol Road and Pershore Road, the landmark Pebble Mill project will see the former headquarters for the BBC in the Midlands transformed into a hub of medical and life science excellence.

New Street architect reveals story behind fallout

Renowned architect Alejandro Zaera-Polo, who quit design work on the £600 million New Street Station revamp, has told of his "complete disagreement" with Network Rail.

The design guru, whose London and New York-based firm AZPML had been involved in plans for the station's central atrium, lifted the lid on the reasons for his change of heart.

Speaking for the first time over the issue, the architect accused project managers of 'making design decisions unilaterally and wthout proper analysis.'

His criticisms followed claims by architect Philip Singleton, chief executive of Millennium Point, that the new atrium design would resemble a 'Paul Smith suit with a Primark lining' with a 'crass and timid' restyling.

MIPIM 2014: £2bn Greater Birmingham transport plans

The West Midlands announced a £2 billion package of rail, tram and rapid transit schemes to ensure it secured the maximum economic benefits from high-speed rail.

The Local Connectivity Package – which was given the go-ahead in October – was rubber stamped at MIPIM.

Community leaders said it would enable the region to more than double the potential benefits of the proposed HS2 line by best connecting and feeding into the high speed rail line. The package includes extensions to the Midland Metro tram system.

Birmingham Day at the House of Commons

We still make things – that was the message of the second Birmingham Day event in the House of Commons, designed to inform the nation's leaders about the city and the contribution it makes to the economy.

The event also showcased the West Midlands region, including the Black Country and the towns involved in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Top chefs join forces to promote city cuisine

Tom Kerridge, the two Michelin-starred pub restaurateur and successful TV chef, joined forces with local chefs Glynn Purnell and David Colcombe to create a special dinner in Birmingham, further enhancing the growing culinary reputation within the city.

Hosted at Opus, in Cornwall Street, Kerridge, who has recently experienced success with his book and television series Proper Pub Food, served guests a warm pork pie starter and half-roasted chicken main – favourites at his famed Buckinghamshire pub, the Hand & Flowers.

Review of 2014 - January

Review of 2014 - February

 

View full mobile page