Photo courtesy of Glen Howells Architects on behalf of the Harvest Partnership
On July 7 2014, the Government announced the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Growth Deal. The Growth Deals between Government and each of the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) aim to focus on local economic priorities, driving growth and creating jobs.
In the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Growth Deal, GBSLEP secured £357.4m from the Local Growth Fund. In total, 34 projects have been approved with £63.4m available for the financial year 2015-16 to get schemes started quickly. The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Growth Deal capitalises on the opportunities that High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) brings to the area and will focus on enhancing key growth sectors, including life sciences.
The Growth Deal, subject to a satisfactory conclusion of the funding agreement, will bring together local, national and private funding as well as new freedoms and flexibilities to focus on the key priority areas as identified in the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan.
Projects receiving funding from the LGF through the Growth Deal include funding to facilitate the start of a Life Sciences campus in Selly Oak. This project will begin the delivery of a four hectare campus on a site which is currently contaminated and derelict next to the University of Birmingham and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. It will provide a science park specifically for life science businesses, capable of supporting over 400,000sq ft of office space, including laboratories. The Deal will also support rail enhancements at University Station Interchange to reduce overcrowding and support access to the Life Sciences Campus.
Funding will also be made available for the development of a Life Sciences centre, based at Bournville College in south-west Birmingham, which will act as a feeder to the University of Birmingham and to the Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM), part of Birmingham Health Partners (BHP). The centre will be targeted at Levels 2 and 3 (technician), and particularly apprentices which will contribute towards closing the Level 3 skills gap which constrains regional growth in this sector.
Professor David Adams, Director of Birmingham Health Partners, commented:
“These initiatives are particularly exciting for BHP. The Battery Park development will add substantially to the already outstanding Life Sciences facilities on the Edgbaston campus. It will complement the Institute of Translational Medicine by promoting commercialisation and interactions with local companies. The link with Bournville College will be a major boost to our programme designed to deliver the next generation of scientists working in translational medicine.”
To learn more about the Growth Deal please visit the website here: http://centreofenterprise.com/gd/
To read more about the Selly Oak regeneration project, including the Life Sciences campus, visit their website here: http://sellyoak-regeneration.co.uk/