Birmingham and UK Construction News – January

As Britain’s second largest city and a hub for investment across the West Midlands, there’s a lot of building and construction projects going on here in Birmingham.

In this post, our team shares some of the latest Birmingham construction and building news from the month of January.

“A new era” for Birmingham construction

A report from professional services firm Deloitte released in January shows that demand for construction services in the city is high.

Developments in planning for the High Speed 2 project have led to the number of construction projects going up and up. Responsibility for the spike is also being assigned to plans for increased devolution and the announcement that the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held in the city.

It’s believed that construction of office space has exceeded 1.4 million square feet, while four thousand residential units are currently being erected in the city.

The popularity of higher education institutions such as the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Aston University, too, has meant that there are well over 1,000 student accommodation bedrooms currently being built. The allure of events like the Commonwealth Games, meanwhile, has meant that over 300 new hotel bedrooms were built here in the last year.

Hospital build to go ahead – despite Carillion collapse

Fears that the collapse of a major construction company could impact a Birmingham area hospital were put to rest in January after the government intervened.

Government minister David Lidington confirmed that construction of the all new Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick will go ahead. The 669-bed hospital aims to take the pressure off other Birmingham hospitals, but the collapse of Carillion – a major contractor working on the project – threw that into doubt.

“The Government’s wish and intention is that we can get on with construction work in the West Midlands without material disruption,” said Mr Liddington.

And Toby Lewis, from the local NHS, said: “We welcome the commitment to project continuation offered yesterday in Parliament, which has reassured staff, working to provide NHS care here, that this overdue project remains a priority.”

Contract awarded for Jewellery Quarter project

A £29m contract to redevelop a historic building in the city’s Jewellery Quarter was awarded in January.

Works on the Charlotte Street campus of University College Birmingham will be carried out by Kier, and the building will be named Moss House after the University Corporation’s Nigel Moss.

The funding for the project came from the college’s £100m plans to develop and enhance its presence in the city centre. The job was awarded to Kier over competitors like McLaughlin & Harvey and Farrans Construction.

All kinds of facilities, such as a restaurant and a car park, will be included at the new 250,000 square foot building.

Student accommodation on Bath Row gets the green light

Parts of Bath Row are set to become a construction site soon after a deal was struck to build a £40m student accommodation site there.

It comes after two firms, Uliving and Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, teamed up to invest in student living services across Britain.

It’s believed that building work will start in April of this year, and students will start to live there from the 2020/2021 academic year onwards.

Bosses at the firms involved were pleased. “Having partnered with universities to create exceptional student accommodation schemes in Essex, Hertfordshire and Gloucestershire, it is exciting to have reached financial close on this project,” said Uliving’s executive chairman, Nicolas Guérin.

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