Shortlisted designs for the £12 million Birmingham East-side city park go on display for the first time today - and the public are being asked to vote for the most "exciting and inspiring" proposal.

Six architectural practices are battling for the contract to mastermind construction of the first park to be built in the city centre for more than 100 years.

All of those taking part in a City Council design competition launched earlier this year were asked to provide evidence of "exceptional flair and technical capability".

The design ideas will be available for viewing at exhibitions on the hoardings around the Town Hall and at Millennium Point until October 23. Leaflets with comment slips are available from the Central Library, the Council House, Millennium Point, the Custard Factory and the Warehouse Cafe as well as from libraries and neighbour-hood offices across the city. The drawings can also be viewed on the City Council's website (, and comments can be e-mailed.

Cabinet member for regeneration, Coun Ken Hardeman (Con Brandwood), said: "East-side is a key component of Birmingham's ongoing renaissance, and the park is a key component of Eastside.

"It is vital that we deliver a park which is exciting and inspirational, a park for the 21st century which will become a landmark and enhance our reputation as an international city.

"I believe that all our citizens should have a chance to comment on the design ideas and the approach of the teams who have produced them, to help the judging panel to make the best choice."

The Eastside City Park design competition was launched in March and attracted well over 100 enquiries, some from firms based in Europe and India. Six internationally-recognised design practices were short-listed by a panel of experts to compete for the chance to design and deliver the park.

The teams were asked to prepare concept design schemes and technical reports illustrating their approach to the design of the park in an important city centre location.

The shortlisting panel included representatives of CABESpace, the Govern-ment's design advisory body for public realm, and Millennium Point, together with Professor Kathryn Moore, President of the Landscape Institute and Birmingham City Council's City design advisor Philip Singleton.

The public comment exercise is part of a three-layer process, which includes technical assessment by a wide range of organisations and an expert judging panel.

It is anticipated that the panel will make their decision in November and, once the council cabinet has approved their choice, the winner could be announced in December.

The council is bidding for up to £25 million from the Big Lottery Fund's Living Landmarks scheme to help pay for the park and environmental improvements in Digbeth.