Here are my observations on why we have done this deal:

One: I was acutely aware of the need by Birmingham City Council and Argent to have unencumbered access to significantly remodel Paradise Circus. I knew that the hidden gem of the Conservatoire had to find a new home, which got me thinking back in 2013.

Two: In parallel with this, I had been considering how Millennium Point could usefully deploy its land to the north of the building – a space that was poorly commissioned even when new, and 12 years later is really rather sad, especially as a counterpoint to the fabulous new Eastside park on the south of the building – a sort of dysfunctional cousin no one would talk to at a party.

Three: HS2 looks pretty likely and thus we will see a lot of construction activity for 8 to 9 years on the other side of Curzon Street. This has accentuated the need to create a decent approach to Millennium Point from the north and freshen up our act.

Four: Millennium Point is 99% full. We are self-funded and ambitious. This deal will allow us to model a new future. More on that very soon.

Five: We can only use our land to further our purposes as a charity. The Conservatoire does exactly that.

I recently wrote about Eastside:

“We speak with pride about what has been not only built, but richly occupied by a massive new influx of people; notably throughout the recession. We have a new hotel, two new academies, a park that has collected more awards than I can keep up with, a car park that has scooped up all the cars that littered the open spaces and a huge new city council office. There’s also the most significant university investment the city has seen in a generation with Birmingham City University in its two major phases of work and Aston creating a better environment. To sum it up, Eastside is by far the most progressive quarter of the city centre. But we all know the best cities are those that are enthrallingly dense and intense. There is space here in Eastside for much more to happen, including more real growth and investment.”

The Conservatoire is the next move in making Eastside a more vibrantly occupied space. 500 students, a large cohort of staff and concerts played twice daily will bring added creative life to the Quarter. I do believe that BCU has ambitions to choose well the architect to lead the design process to create a fabulous building. It will open in 2017.

Jennens Road will start to have an edge created at its eastern end that will make demands on how that road is made more civilized. The Curzon HS2 masterplan for Growth should really start to address this. There is so much tarmac that white lines have been painted on to it to define carriageways. Nice! One day real people and cyclists may feature in road design in Eastside.