Birmingham has taken a major step towards securing millions of pounds of investment in the Curzon Street and Smithfield developments following a trade mission to the oil-rich state of Qatar it is claimed.
Council leader John Clancy led a delegation to Doha to market Birmingham’s regeneration projects and housing developments to potential investors at a range of meetings. Birmingham is believed to be the first UK council to visit Qatar on an inward investment mission.
Birmingham will also host a UK-Qatar trade conference in March, the first time such an even has been staged outside of London.
Talks included investment opportunities around the £500 million Smithfield redevelopment of Birmingham’s wholesale markets area, the £1 billion Curzon HS2 investment plan, as well as proposals for large-scale housing development.
Cllr Clancy said that historically Birmingham has relied on investment from Europe and the EU, but that needs to change following Brexit.
He said: “It’s no good sitting back complaining about Britain leaving the EU. Cities like Birmingham must get out across the world and say ‘this is who we are, this is what we can offer to investors’.
“We have had strong input from the Department of International Trade, strong embassy support -- that says a lot about government policy.
“Birmingham is off the starting blocks in the post-Brexit race. There are a huge range of options for big capital investment across the city, ranging from hugely significant regeneration schemes like Smithfield and Curzon, down to smaller shovel-ready projects.”
He added that he also pitched housing projects to the Qatari ministers and business leaders.
He was joined by Neil Rami, the chief executive of inward investment group Marketing Birmingham, and Waheed Nazir, Birmingham City Council’s strategic director for the economy.