Birmingham tops a major survey of the UK’s most valuable regeneration projects, business leaders at MIPIM, the property conference in Cannes, will hear this week.
The city has seven of the top 100 regeneration projects according to a survey by Regeneration and Renewal magazine which is being unveiled at the exhibition.
These include the £850 million redevelopment of Selly Oak, which involves J. Sainsbury, Birmingham City Council and the University of Birmingham Hospital Trust; the Longbridge project at £640 million, which sees St Modwen teaming up with Birmingham City Council and Advantage West Midlands, and the Birmingham Gateway Project – the long-awaited redevelopment of New Street station and its environs, valued at £575million by the survey.
As expected the London boroughs together top the list with 18 projects, but the survey shows that although the capital city has 2.5 times as many top projects as Birmingham, it is 7.5 times bigger by population, proving that Birmingham is punching way above its weight.
Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council, said he felt that this was because developers recognised that it was easier to do business in Birmingham than London.
"Birmingham’s size makes it easier to leaders to make rapid, strategic decisions. Developers and investors do says it is much easier to do business in Birmingham than in London.
"We're the largest local authority in Europe, and have the resources to ensure we're one of the fastest planning authorities.
"Birmingham is now hosting an array of major schemes by developers such as Ballymore, Dandara, Targetfollow, Birmingham Alliance, Birmingham Development Company – companies from both home and abroad – all of whom are thriving in a proactive atmosphere created by the public and private sector working together.
"That’s why our presence at MIPIM – backed by significant private sector sponsorship – is absolutely vital if we are to keep the name of Birmingham and the investment and development opportunities on the world stage.
"The credit crunch and competition from emerging regions such as Russia and eastern Europe makes it even more vital that we are in there, fighting for every opportunity we can identify.
"We know that contacts made at MIPIM 2008 can lead to the next wave of investment into our city and it is absolutely vital that we make our presence felt this week.