ALL ABOARD! OPPORTUNITIES TO INVEST IN BIRMINGHAM
TAKE OFF THANKS TO TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE BOOM

(Virtual Press Office) -Business Birmingham, the city’s inward investment programme, is unveiling an investment package of £1.3 billion in its transport infrastructure at international real estate event MIPIM 2012 next month.

The investment will flow into the city over the next four years through eight major projects, all of which are due for completion by 2015.The developments are designed to improve local connectivity for businesses and residents, as well as enhancing national and international infrastructure.

The projects include:
    • £65 million runway extension at Birmingham Airport enabling direct non-stop flights to key destinations in the Far East, California and South America
    • The £600 million Gateway redevelopment of the New Street rail station
    • A £127 million extension of the Midland Metro tram system through the heart of the city’s shopping district
    • A £126 million congestion-busting managed motorway scheme
    • More than £90 million of new train carriages for the local network increasing capacity by 2,300 extra seats a day
    • A £30 million reorganisation of the city’s bus services including six new passenger interchanges, the introduction of Smartcard ticketing and new on-street information
    • An £11 million rapid transit system known as Sprint, running between Five Ways in the city centre and Walsall to the north
All of the developments except the new train carriages and the managed motorways are part of Vision for Movement – a collaborative project between the city’s business community, Birmingham City Council, transport authority Centro and bus company National Express Midlands. The Vision is also a key element of Birmingham’s Big City Plan.

The longer term impact of the transport infrastructure investment is coupled with the opening of HS2 – the £17 billion high speed rail link between Birmingham and London, which has the potential to boost the Birmingham and wider regional economy by £1.5 billion a year and create more than 22,000 new jobs.*

The compelling opportunities for investors in Birmingham are to be outlined at MIPIM during a special presentation ‘Global City, Local Heart – Totally Connected’ which is being staged at the Business Birmingham stand in the Palais des Festivals on Wednesday March 7, starting at 10am.

Investors will hear how HS2 and the £1.3 billion transport package are playing a key role in the ongoing renaissance of the city. This major investment in transport infrastructure underpins some tantalising opportunities, not least in the city’s emerging Eastside district where the new high speed rail terminal will be based.

However, Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, will caution investors to act quickly in order to get on board if they are to benefit from the city’s growth: “These are certainly exciting times for Birmingham in its role as an economic powerhouse – it is seen as the place in which to locate and do business. Birmingham City Council and its partners have been busy creating the right environment for businesses to invest and thrive here. This includes the £65 million runway extension at Birmingham Airport, a state-of-art £600 million rail gateway at New Street Station, a new tram route through the heart of the city and, working with Government, we will be welcoming a £17 billion high speed rail network to Birmingham.

“But we are also building for the future in other ways, by making sure Birmingham is very much a knowledge-based city offering the quality of life needed to retain the highly skilled and talented graduates leaving our world-renowned universities. Things are moving fast in Birmingham and I would urge investors and developers to get involved in the city now.”

Centro’s Chief Executive, Geoff Inskip, said: “Successful cities have excellent connectivity – international, national and local – and our £1.3 billion transport package will secure massive benefits for businesses and passengers. Birmingham is already at the heart of the UK’s road and rail network and we are now building even better connections to the rest of the country, Europe and the world through the airport expansion and high speed rail.

“The improvements we are making will connect businesses to a bigger and wider skilled workforce, who in return will be able to better access the new jobs resulting from all this investment.”

The HS2 link is also expected to increase passenger flow to Birmingham Airport, which is the only UK airport with planning consent for a runway extension. The proposed work is scheduled to start this year on the extension, which will allow business routes to Los Angeles, Tokyo and Beijing.

Paul Kehoe, CEO at Birmingham Airport, added: “The high speed rail line will not only feature a station in the city centre but a second one at the Airport and National Exhibition Centre. Our position at the hub of this high speed rail network will put London and the UK’s other major cities on our doorstep while connecting us directly to Europe.

“Our runway extension plans would provide better connections across the globe, especially to long-haul markets. This entire picture means billions of pounds of investment and the creation of thousands of new jobs, which is creating a growing momentum to be in Birmingham.”

Cllr Whitby, Geoff Inskip and Paul Kehoe will lead discussions at the event ‘Global City, Local Heart – Totally Connected’, which is taking place at MIPIM on the Business Birmingham stand (R27.09). To find out more, visit http://businessbirmingham.com/mipim.
Ends

*Based on figures from the independent KPMG report into the economic impact of HS2 on Birmingham

Media contact – Cath Shuttlewood – 07990 505 522 / catherine.shuttlewood@grayling.com
OR Stuart Humphreys – 0121 265 2760 / stuart.humphreys@grayling.com
 
 
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