A planning application is being prepared for the first building in Birmingham’s £35 million Digital Plaza development.
Birmingham City Council-owned Birmingham Science Park has selected Stourport-on-Severn headquartered Thomas Vale Construction as the joint venture partner for the scheme.
The first part will be known as iCentrum and has an estimated construction cost of £7.5 million.
The Science Park’s flagship Faraday Wharf building, completed in 2001, will be upgraded and linked to iCentrum via a first floor bridge.
A detailed planning application for the 30,000 sq ft iCentrum building, together with an outline application for the rest of the 120,000 sq ft Digital Plaza development is in the works.
Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Investment into Birmingham Science Park is one of the City Council’s key objectives. It is critical that we support entrepreneurial talent, diversify our economy and create new high value jobs.
“Now 30 years old, the Park’s reputation for success is growing on an international stage, and the Digital Plaza development will ensure the innovation spotlight is shone on this city.”
Dr David Hardman MBE, chief executive of Birmingham Science Park, said: “As the economy continues the slow climb out of recession, it is tremendous news that Thomas Vale Construction’s proposals will enable us to deliver the first Digital Plaza building speculatively, while also linking with - and investing into an upgrade of - our flagship Faraday Wharf building.
“To think that work could start on site before the end of this year is very positive, as it is imperative that we meet the needs, aspirations and work patterns of the city’s rapidly growing number of talented and innovative tech entrepreneurs.”
The Digital Plaza site will be accessed off Holt Street/Enterprise Way and A38 Aston Expressway.
The Science Park’s vacant development plot has been identified within the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP’s Enterprise Zone proposals.
The Digital Plaza will be financed through a Special Purpose Vehicle, which could secure the funding for the first building.
The Thomas Vale funding model enables Birmingham Science Park to retain full long-term control of its interests, assets and objectives.
- This article is part of the Birmingham Skyline 2014 supplement produced by the Birmingham Post