Curzon creates exciting opportunities for the city

Originally named the Eastside Forum, a group of key individuals and organisations in the area gathers once a month to discuss key developments.

Recently, the group opened up the forum to incorporate the Creative Quarter and, as a result, has decided to rename itself the Curzon Forum.

Chair of the new Curzon Forum and CEO of Millennium Point, Judith Armstrong, tells us what’s been happening in this thriving area.   

Midland Metro expansion

We’re pleased to announce that a Transport and Works Act order has now been submitted for the Eastside Metro extension and a public enquiry will take place in March 2017 to progress with the detailed design of what it will look like. Utility diversions will commence in 2018, with construction commencing in 2019.

In other positive news, the Midland Metro Alliance partnership has now been formed, which will provide a 40% saving on costs and deliver the projects 50% more quickly.

The Midland Metro Alliance has been asked by Birmingham City Council to undertake a study of what Digbeth High Street could look like. In addition, an initial outline business case has been submitted for an extension to Solihull, which we hope will encourage regeneration in the areas that it will cover. 

Curzon Investment Plan

During our meeting, we heard from Richard Cowell, assistant director of development at Birmingham City Council’s Planning and Regeneration Department.

He provided the group with an update on the Curzon Investment Plan, which was launched on 14th September, 2016.

The plan, as it’s always been, is to utilise HS2 as a catalyst for the city and maximise the opportunities that it will bring to Birmingham.

In 2014, a growth strategy was developed to ensure we capitalise on the potential for the city, including opportunities in construction and engineering, employment and further regeneration like what we’ve seen with the Wholesale Market and Paradise Circus.

We also found out during the meeting that the search for a design for Curzon Street Station will be run through a design competition. This will be a fantastic opportunity for our local design talent to play an integral role in something that will change the city forever.

The Enterprise Zone, which is currently delivering Birmingham’s transformational Big City Plan and is playing a leading role in the redevelopment of Birmingham city centre, also intends to utilise this future growth in business rates to support infrastructure investment. The Curzon Urban Regeneration Company will ensure that this £742m is spent effectively.

A Curzon Symposium is currently being planned to bring together stakeholders with a view of taking the investment plan forward and discussing the key priorities for the area.

The symposium will also look at the infrastructure of transport for the region as a whole, including the Midland Metro, congestion and business accessibility.

Curzon Forum website

We’re very excited to tell you that the marketing team at Millennium Point have been working on the design of a new website for the Curzon Forum.

The aim of the website will be to promote opportunities to members of the forum, provide links to members’ websites, and keep people up to date with the latest news.

Lastly, if you weren’t aware, I was invited last month to join the Curzon Delivery Board. The Board was established to oversee the delivery of the Curzon Masterplan, ensuring that Birmingham and the wider region realises the full potential available through the arrival of HS2. Click here to read my blog post for a more in-depth update.