MIPIM 2011: Birmingham seeks science park jv partner

Birm Sci Park BIG

Birmingham council is seeking a joint venture partner to deliver a £35m “digital plaza” at Birmingham Science Park in Aston.


The council will unveil its plans and timeframe to appoint a jv partner at a seminar tomorrow morning at the MIPIM property conference in Cannes.


Subject to consent, the digital plaza will comprise four new buildings totalling 117,000 sq ft and will range in size from two buildings of 17,500 sq ft each, alongside a 36,000 sq ft and 46,000 sq ft scheme.


The bigger buildings are expected to appeal to larger companies as headquarters-style facilities. The buildings will be linked by a colonnade walkway on land fronting on to Holt Street and will be located next to the park’s existing Faraday Wharf complex.


The scheme will be aimed at the new generation of hi-tech start-up companies.


Councillor Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham council, which owns the Birmingham Science Park, said: “We will be using the conference as a platform to initiate conversations with national and international developers, contractors, investors and consultants.


“We then expect formal proceedings to begin the selection process to commence, with a view to work potentially starting on site by late 2012 or early 2013.”


Dr David Hardman, BSPA chief executive, added: “In order to remain competitive, we must create buildings which are specifically designed for companies in the hi-tech and digital gaming sectors and for the digitally savvy founders of these ventures.”


More than 37,000 sq ft of offices has been let on the 14-acre BSPA estate over the past 12 months. Faraday Wharf, which incorporates meeting and conference rooms, as well as an incubation centre, is now more than 95% let.