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UK Central Growth & Infrastructure Plan

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The Challenge

The Urban Growth Company (UGC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Solihull Metropolitan District Council. The UGC has been set up in order to guide and facilitate the development of the ‘Hub area’ which consists of 5 major sites on the eastern edge of Birmingham, namely; the NEC, Jaguar Land Rover, Birmingham Business Park, Birmingham International Airport and the site surrounding the planned HS2 Birmingham Interchange station known as ‘UK Central’.

The UGC has an ambitious vision for the Hub area and UK Central in particular in terms of the potential for job creating and housing delivery. In order for the constituent parts of the Hub area to deliver these outputs, a significant infrastructure budget is required which cannot be funded in its entirety from the development of the sites. The UGC therefore needs advice on the likely gap in funding and to understand how this can be ‘plugged’ as well as act as a facilitator and enabler of development.

The Solution

Working with a multi-disciplinary professional team, Cushman & Wakefield has helped to create a Growth & Infrastructure Plan for the Hub area which:
  • Outlines the potential of the site (particularly with a Government audience in mind) in property terms
  • Sets out the ‘step change’ in demand/ occupational/ property market requirements
  • Identifies the impact of infrastructure investments on property demand/ market dynamics 
  • Sets out the role that the UGC can and must play to enable development

This will be a ‘market making’ set of developments and our analysis and commentary has addressed this through taking the local market context but considering the potential to leverage demand from the new HS2 station at UK Central in particular. 

Cushman & Wakefield’s ongoing role involves testing the financial gap between the cost of infrastructure requirements and what development can support at the UK Central site. Cushman & Wakefield has created a bespoke financial model which can quantify and test this under various scenarios.

The Results

A Growth & Infrastructure Plan which has been published and sets out the UGC’s vision and how this can be achieved and how this fits within the wider economic and property market context. This plan is enabling the UGC to:
  • Promote the Hub area to investors
  • Engage key stakeholders such as HS2, Highways England and utility providers in terms of their future planning for the area
  • Take forward a contractual position with landowners
  • Test different ‘value capture’ scenarios to help fund the required infrastructure
  • Understand the level of gap funding required


John Richards


Phone +44 203 296 3139

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