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£35m Digital Plaza in Birmingham seeks development partner

21 Nov 11 Birmingham Science Park Aston (BSPA), which is wholly owned by Birmingham City Council, is looking for a joint venture partner to undertake development of the proposed £35 million Digital Plaza.

The partner would undertake funding/investment; design and development; construction; facility operation and management for the Digital Plaza, which is envisaged to provide a total gross area of over 100,000 sq ft within four state-of-the-art buildings.

Interested bidders have until 23 December 2011 to submit their proposals.

The earmarked site is next to the Park’s flagship Faraday Wharf building, accessed off Holt Street/Enterprise Way and A38 Aston Expressway. The vacant development plot has been identified within the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP’s Enterprise Zone proposals, which covers 27 sites within the Big City Plan area.

During his visit to BSPA earlier this week, Prime Minister David Cameron heard about the Park's activities and plans to create a high-tech incubation centre to be named iCentrumTM, as the first of the four proposed Digital Plaza buildings.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Birmingham Science Park Aston shows how start-ups can be actively supported, physically and virtually, to become successful businesses in the high-growth technology sector. It's great to see the Park driving forward creativity, innovation and business excellence here in Birmingham."

The Enterprise Zone designation may enable this project to benefit from an accelerated planning process, as well as Business Rates relief. Subject to planning, construction work could commence speculatively on the first iCentrumTM building - which is expected to be circa 40,000 sq ft - as early as September 2012. BSPA is also planning to create a series of industry-led technology incubators to drive new innovative businesses in the key sectors of the regional economy.

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