The new owners of the former HP Sauce site in Birmingham have been in talks with the Hilton Group over proposals for a 14-storey hotel on the site.
East End Foods – which is run by the Wouhra family – acquired the site last year and submitted a planning application in January for a 125,000 sq ft cash and carry warehousing operation a 150-bed hotel.
It has now been revealed that the new owners have had extended talks with the world-renowned hotel group with a view to the new development opening as soon as December this year.
Detailed designs for the site – which will also include conferencing facilities – have already been drawn up by FBDA Architects, the merged practice of Fellows Burt Dalton & Associates, Mode 2 Architects and Alan Murray Associates.
The plans for the former HP Sauce site in Aston, which had stood derelict for three years after Heinz moved production to the Netherlands, were announced by Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby at the MIPIM property show in Cannes.
“This will be a major investment for north west Birmingham and Aston in particular,” he said.
“The project will create 295 jobs in an area of the city that will welcome an initiative on this scale and is a great example of how Birmingham rebounds from events like the disappointment of the closure of the HP Sauce factory to come back fighting with regeneration projects that create more employment.”
The announcement about the future of the former HP Sauce site follows the unveiling at MIPIM of a series of other major development schemes for Birmingham.
Birmingham Science Park Aston has released plans to build a £40million Innovation Village which will see the construction of four new buildings next to the current science park.
Dr David Hardman, managing director of the science park, said the proposed Innovation Village was powerful evidence of the science park’s determination to drive its reputation higher on the world stage.
He said: “Birmingham Science Park Aston is all about providing a physical presence where a professional infrastructure links with technology, innovation, funding, and the key driver in any knowledge-based business, the people, to create a world leading resource of intellectual capital.
“At a time when the knowledge economy is seen a key factor in moving the UK out of recession, Birmingham Science Park Aston initiatives are championing and catalysing the innovation economy of Birmingham and the region by supporting innovators and entrepreneurs to help them deliver their aspirations and drive their high-tech services and products towards the market place.”
It has also been announced this week that the University College Birmingham – formerly known as Birmingham College of Food, Tourism & Creative Studies – plans to build a brand new campus on four acres on the edge of the Jewellery Quarter. UCB Principal Prof Ray Linforth said the intention was, over time, to develop a new campus on land bounded by George Street, Holland Street and Charlotte Street.
The college already owns two acres and is under contract to purchase an adjoining site of similar size.
The intention is to develop the new campus in three phases starting with circa 80,000 sq ft which will house a new student hub that will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the benefit mainly of higher education students, giving them round the clock access to suit their individual requirements.
The first phase will also include a new postgraduate centre and additional classrooms plus interlinking social space.
The initial phase will cost £20 million, which Prof Linforth said would be funded from reserves and UCB plans to have the first part of the new campus open by 2013.
“This will be the largest capital project in the Jewellery Quarter in the next few years and will be a significant catalyst in the economic regeneration of the area,” said Prof Linforth.
In his keynote speech to delegates at the MIPIM event, Coun Whitby said described the coming years as the “decade of delivery” in Birmingham. He said projects like the New Street redevelopment and the new library alongside the regeneration of key former industrial sites in the city would help to bring tens of thousands of jobs to the city.
He said: “There are simply too many projects coming out of the ground and coming off the drawing boards to be denied and even the cynics are having to take their hats off to this vibrant city.”