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PS1bn city masterplan to be unveiled to the world; Council leader Bore to showcase market site to potential investors.

Byline: Jonathan Walker Political Editor jon.walker@trinitymirror.com

PLANS for a PS1 billion redevelopment project in central Birmingham will be presented to investors at the world's leading investment trade show.

Birmingham City Council will showcase its plans for a mixed-use development on the former site of the Wholesale Markets, near the Bullring, at the MPIM property event in Cannes, France, in March.

This high-profile event is attended by investors, local authorities and property professionals.

City Council Leader Sir Albert Bore said a masterplan for the scheme, known as the Southern Gateway, would be published at MPIM as he met potential investors in London, at an event backed by the Prime Minister.

Sir Albert was one of three council leaders invited to the meeting in Number 10, designed to put local authorities in touch with developers and sovereign growth funds which could invest in the UK.

He highlighted the Southern Gateway scheme alongside two other potential investment opportunities - a PS200 million redevelopment of the area around Snow Hill station in central Birmingham and a 22-hectare mixed-use development on the western edge of the city centre, called the Icknield Port Loop.

Leaders of Leeds and Bristol councils also attended the event, which was the first of its kind.

Greg Clark, the Minister for Cities, said: "What we did was to invite a number of global investors to come into Number 10.

"Each of the cities pitched to the investors, talking about the opportunities in their cities both in terms of the overall vision and attractiveness of each of the places, and some specific investment opportunities," He added: "There was a huge amount of enthusiasm in the room, largely down to the exuberance of the presentations we had from reach of the cities.

"This is the first of what we intend to be a series of these seminars."

The theme of Birmingham's pitch was "back the winner", with Sir Albert highlighting the impact the planned HS2 high speed rail line was due to have on the city.

Birmingham will currently run out of prime office space by 2015, he said, a result of increased economic activity in the city.

"It means we have to up the pace and bring forward investment opportunities at a much faster rate than we were previously looking at," Sir Albert said.

In highlighting the three major investment opportunities, he said: "The biggest one is the Southern Gateway.

"We are moving the wholesale markets out and we will then develop that as a mixed leisure, residential area for the future.

"It is a billion pound investment opportunity and we are looking for a development partner or partners to take that one forward."

Later he added: "Birmingham is emerging as a global investment destination. The city is one of Europe's brightest property hotspots, and has some of the biggest investment opportunities anywhere in Britain.

"We have already proved that Birmingham can deliver world-class property and infrastructure projects. Just look at the PS600 million redevelopment of New Street station, PS200 million expansion of Birmingham Airport, and regeneration of the Curzon area around the city centre's HS2 terminal.

"This unprecedented scale of investment is transforming Birmingham - making the city unrecognisable from a decade ago."

Sir Albert also welcomed the announcement by Legal & General Group that it was allocating PS1.5 billion to invest in regeneration projects including housing and infrastructure across the UK added Greg Clark said: "Legal & General's decision to launch a PS15 billion regeneration vehicle and invest PS1.5 billion is fantastic news and a vote of confidence in the UK economy and our regional cities."

Comment: Page 30

We are moving the wholesale markets out Sir Albert Bore

CAPTION(S):

The Wholesale Markets site in Birmingham will become the 'Southern Gateway' - a massive mixed use development to rejuvenate that part of the city

Icknield port loop in Edgbaston, and, right, the Snow Hill development
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 29, 2015
Words:646
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