GVA Seminar

Leading UK property consultant GVA recently hosted a seminar in the City of London for investors and developers, setting out Birmingham’s impressive investment potential.

The city’s plans for growth and unique proposition for future and existing investors was explored, from major investment in its infrastructure and transport system to planned growth initiatives that will help secure the conditions needed for business growth.

Added to the success of its broad based economy and relatively high concentration of financial and business services, Birmingham is set to present a stronger return than any of its regional competitors according to GVA.

Presenting at the seminar was Mark Barrow, Strategic Director of Regeneration & Development at Birmingham City Council; Neil Rami, Head of Business Birmingham; and Ian Stringer, Regional Senior Director at GVA.

Neil Rami commented:

“Birmingham has a strong proposition for investors, both new and existing. With a major expansion of Birmingham Airport, a £600 million transformation of the UK’s busiest rail hub, New Street Station Gateway, and £163 million iconic Library of Birmingham – all set for completion within the next four years, Birmingham is witnessing some of the highest levels of development activity in the UK and Europe.

“This level of both public and private sector investment demonstrate confidence in the city’s future and its growth, and are a direct result of the proactive approach the city takes to creating the conditions businesses need to grow. The city’s Big City Plan, a 20 year vision for its development that acts as a blueprint for investors – allowing them to see exactly what the city will be like and how it can help their business to grow is crucial. With an ambitious new LEP, proposed enterprise zone and a targeted, global strategy for attracting investors in sectors the city has strengths, Birmingham is not resting on its laurels.”

The seminar also marked the unveiling of GVA’s latest market research report entitled ‘Invest in Birmingham’.

Ian Stringer, Regional Senior Director at GVA commented: “The city’s potential as a modern nationwide and ultimately European transport hub cannot be underestimated. In its current state, the city boasts extensive rail, road and air links with the city centre at the heart of several transport hubs, yet the quality and connections are limited and in major need of improvement. Those improvements are not only planned, but the nature of those upgrades presents an exceptional investment proposition over the coming years.”

Planned investment in the city’s transport network is vast. The proposed High Speed 2 rail link is expected to bring Birmingham to within 45 minutes of London, the world’s financial capital. The rail link will also allow overseas companies easier and quicker accessibility. Birmingham International Airport also plans to expand its runway and associated infrastructure, allowing it to compete with the UK’s major global airports by offering non-stop flights to China, India and the west coast of America for the first time.

The redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station’s “Birmingham Gateway” is due for completion is 2015. It plans to double its existing passenger capacity by 2016. Upgrades to the Midlands Metro tram route and a new rapid bus transit called Birmingham Sprint are also due for completion by 2015.

The city’s property market is also looking positive. With capital values stabilising and rental growth returning to the market in 2012/13, total returns are expected to gradually build over the next five years. As such the UK’s second city is forecast to outperform the rest of the UK average in both the offices and retail sectors.

The city is set to benefit from a range of government measures designed to provide incentives for local authorities to promote business growth. Following on from the 2010 Local Growth white paper, the government has announced the first tranche of approved Local Enterprise Partnerships (one of which encompasses Birmingham), and the opening of the £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund.

For further information on GVA’s latest market research report visit www.gva.co.uk or contact Ian Stringer on 0121 609 8308 or email ian.stringer@gva.co.uk.

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