business

Birmingham developments reach key milestones

Topping out ceremonies held at new HSBC UK head office and BCU's campus expansion in Edgbaston

Staff from Birmingham City University and BAM mark the 'topping out' of BCU's new life sciences building in Edgbaston

A pair of property developments in Birmingham have 'topped out' this week.

The latest phase in Birmingham City University's expansion in Edgbaston and the new head office for HSBC UK have both passed the milestone.

The new £41 million university building for BCU in Westbourne Road will provide a home for health sciences and education when it opens next year and enable the relocation of the school of education, consolidating the faculty of health, education and life sciences onto one site.

The space will include a new lecture theatre, a multi-purpose hall, speech therapy, physiotherapy and ultrasound suites, art and technology classrooms and IT hubs.

It has been design architecture practice Sheppard Robson and is being built by BAM.

Speaking at the topping out ceremony, BCU vice-chancellor Professor Graham Upton said: "This marks an exciting new chapter.....not only will this new building allow us to strengthen our existing education teaching and research programmes, we will also be offering a wide range of new health, nutrition and biomedical science courses."

As part of the City South Campus extension, students from BCU's faculty of computing, engineering and the built environment have been working alongside BAM to gain real-life experience of working in the construction industry.

A second topping out ceremony has been held at Arena Central, in Broad Street, as the big move by HSBC UK from London to Birmingham draws closer.

The finishing touches are being put to 2 Arena Central which will house thousands of staff from next year in the bank's new separate retail and business banking arm.

Work has now begun on interior installations in the ten-storey building including internal walls, lift machinery and plumbing.

HSBC UK is investing more than £200 million in Birmingham and moving more than 1,000 head office roles to the city from London by 2019.

More than half of these roles are now accounted for through a combination of people moving from London already, people relocating this year and new hires into Birmingham.

Antonio Simoes, chief executive of HSBC Bank plc, said: "The creation of HSBC UK's new head office in Birmingham provides us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a new and better bank for our customers and people.

"It's important that our new head office reflects our brand, culture and heritage and we have been working hard to create the right infrastructure and environment."

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