Birmingham is looking to sovereign wealth funds from across the globe to help kick start some of the city’s major development programmes.
The city council along with Business Birmingham have launched a prospectus at the MIPIM property show in Cannes targetting funds from countries such as Abu Dhabi, China, Norway and Saudi Arabia.
The council is looking for up £1 billion of investment into the city’s property portfolio.
Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “In the current economic climate, finding the funding needed for ambitious development projects can be challenging.
“Sovereign wealth funds have the means, liquidity and long-term vision to support such investments and could be the key to unlocking Birmingham’s potential as a truly competitive global city.
“This is the next step in a campaign of targeted dialogue for Birmingham with the world’s leading SWFs and, over the next 10 months, we are planning to engage the most active and able funds with the full extent of the city’s investment opportunities.”
Among the investment opportunities within Birmingham’s prospectus is Eastside – a key site that will house the planned HS2 station building as well as Eastside Locks (a high density urban business park) and Masshouse - a 74,000 sq m site containing Grade A office space as well as retail and residential elements - – which represents a combined capital investment opportunity of £310 million.
Another site seeking a £100 million investment is Paradise Circus, the project to develop the current Central Library site being carried out in a partnership between the city council and Argent.
The prospectus’ nine developments combine to offer a complementary business, retail and leisure landscape and support Birmingham’s ‘Big City Plan’ – a blueprint that allows investors to see the scale of the city’s plans for development over the next 20 years and realise the significant return on investment that Birmingham offers.
The prospectus, in line with the Big City Plan, is a venture between Birmingham City Council and the private sector and highlights the collaborative approach needed to lever major investment in the current climate.
Mark Barrow, strategic director for development at Birmingham City Council, said: “Our ability to show the local authority and business community working together to achieve growth and prosperity is crucial and clearly demonstrates the commitment we all have to making Birmingham a globally competitive city.
“While the current climate presents challenges, the cities that can find innovative ways of getting transformational developments off the ground will benefit in the long term. Birmingham cannot afford to stand still.”
Gary Cardin, partner at Drivers Jonas Deloitte in the Midlands and Chairman of Birmingham Forward, added: “Birmingham offers SWFs and institutional investors an investment opportunity which few cities globally can match. The content of this prospectus is wide-ranging, containing not just the dimensions of planned development sites but details of the strategic vision that makes Birmingham such a compelling investment case.”