An ambitious £600 million masterplan aiming to help create “Birmingham’s Canary Wharf” has been launched.

The 20-year Snow Hill Masterplan, which covers the Snow Hill and Colmore areas of the city, has been launched as part of plans to make the city a global finance hub.

Birmingham is already the UK’s largest hub of professional and financial services firms outside London but business leaders say the plan stands to help create 10,000 high-paying jobs and boost the city’s economy by £600 million a year.

MORE: Images from the Snow Hill Masterplan reveal dramatic proposals

City leaders said the Snow Hill Masterplan showed an ambition to take on the likes of London, Frankfurt and Zurich and attract more professional services jobs with 2.2 million sq ft – the size of 28 football pitches – of new office space.

The plan also outlines major changes to roads and a significant redevelopment of Snow Hill station – the main connection between the business district and London.

The scheme would see new commercial buildings replacing the station’s multi-storey car park in a bid to encourage more firms to base in Birmingham, following in the footsteps of Deutsche Bank, which has seen employment in the city rise from 60 to more than 2,000 in recent years.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said he was hopeful more firms would growing investors such as DTZ, Deutsche Bank, RBS and Hogan Lovells.

He said: “Birmingham is putting in place the building blocks for a global business and financial centre. The city is already investing heavily to ensure that firms have everything they need to thrive here.

“The Snow Hill Masterplan provides a bold and exciting proposal for how Birmingham can continue to grow its thriving business and professional services sector. With time, we want the city to replicate the success of Canary Wharf, with areas like the Snow Hill district forming the cornerstone of this vision.”

The Snow Hill Masterplan, which the council announced alongside Colmore Business District, would see 4,000 homes built within the area to cater to young professionals looking to move into the city.

The plan also outlines how Snow Hill station’s car park will be replaced with new office buildings, while a new concourse area will be created and new walking routes provided through the station.

It also includes the transformation of the A38, to create a new urban boulevard connecting the neighbouring Jewellery and Gun Quarters, and the creation of a new urban neighbourhood in the Steelhouse Lane area.

It is designed to support existing investments including the £30 million restoration of the historic Grand Hotel, the arrival of HS2’s new construction headquarters at Two Snowhill – which will employ 1,500 people – and the extension of the £127 million Midland Metro network.

A computer-generated image from the Snow Hill Masterplan showing major changes to the station
A computer-generated image from the Snow Hill Masterplan showing major changes to the station

Gary Cardin, chair of CBD, said: “The Snow Hill Masterplan paints a picture of new landmark developments that will expand CBD and provide a sustainable supply of high-quality office and mixed-use space, supporting strong business and residential growth for decades to come.”

Professional and financial services generate £15 billion annually in the region, with more than 21,000 companies employing some 220,000 people.

Inward investment body Marketing Birmingham has sought to encourage investment in the city by promoting the fact operational costs can be up to 55 per cent cheaper than London.

The arrival of HS2 – which itself will be based within the confines of the masterplan when it moves to Two Snowhill this year – is expected to strengthen this offer.

A six-week period of public consultation on the Snow Hill Masterplan will run from February 9 to March 23. A dedicated web page with information will be available in due course at