Three major regeneration projects in Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Hereford came under the spotlight on the opening day of the MIPIM 2008 show in Cannes.
Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands launched the tender selection competition to find a developer to bring forward the first phase of the £200 million i54 business park development at Wobaston Road, near Wolverhampton, a 226-acre site that is going to create around 6,000 jobs.
The agency launched a second tender selection competition for the 12-acre Bristol Street scheme, site of the former Matthew Boulton College and one of the key gateways into Birmingham city centre.
And Advantage West Midlands used the MIPIM stage to appoint Stanhope as the developer for the first phase of the £210 million Edgar Street Grid retail quarter, a project which will transform the city centre fortunes of Hereford.
Mick Laverty, chief executive at Advantage West Midlands, said: "The West Midlands of today is a world-class region - a great place to invest, work, learn visit and live.
"Advantage West Midlands and its partners have come to MIPIM to find world-class developers and investors who want to become a part of that success story.
"A year ago, we came to MIPIM to find a developer for the Edgar Street retail quarter in Hereford. We have now appointed Stanhope to deliver an exciting project that will transform Hereford as a shopping, business and leisure destination.
"Now it's the turn of i54. We have invested nearly £30 million into the i54 scheme to date and in partnership with our joint venture partners at Wolverhampton City Council, we are launching a tender selection competition to find a developer by late summer so that phase one work can start in 2009."
The i54 site has outline planningpermission from South Staffordshire Council and Wolverhampton City Council for up to 2,500,000 sq ft of floor space development. The huge site will benefit from its own dedicated motorway junction.
The Bristol Street site in Birmingham lies between the Belgrave Middleway ring road, the A38 Bristol Street South and Sherlock Street. A £1.5 million programme of demolition work is expected to start later this year to make way for a high quality mixed-use development of residential homes, offices, a hotel, retail and leisure facilities and health and educational facilities for the local community.
Mr Laverty said: "Birmingham is riding high on a surge of regeneration which is why we have put Bristol Street on the tender selection table. Less than half a mile away, the Gateway Plus project will transform New Street station. It will be a catalyst for regeneration in that part of the city centre and its importance is reflected in our investment of £100 million into the scheme - the biggest investment in a single regeneration project by any regional development agency in the country."
Stanhope will start work on the Edgar Street Grid (ESG) retail quarter in the spring of 2010 after the relocation of the city's livestock market to a new site to the north east of Hereford.
The council will relocate its Info Shop within the ESG civic quarters. The plans include Hereford's first multi-screen cinema, a host of cafes, bars and bistros, a department store and high quality retail outlets. A new link road is planned to help ease the city's transport congestion.