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NEC reveals 'urban village' plans

10 Nov 21 Plans have been unveiled for the construction of 5,000 new homes and 35,000 sqm of new commercial space on surplus land around the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

NEC Group wants thousands of people to live next to the exhibition centre complex
NEC Group wants thousands of people to live next to the exhibition centre complex

The NEC Group, owned by US private equity firm Blackstone, has published a new masterplan for the NEC Campus, the site of the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), the Vox Conference Venue, Resorts World Arena, Resorts World Birmingham and several hotels.

The redevelopment plan proposes the transformation of 27 hectares of surface level car parking and surplus land, to create new residential, office, leisure and community spaces.

The plan is to build an ‘urban village’ on the north side of the NEC site, with 5,000 homes and 35,000 sqm of new commercial space, including another hotel, and a new primary school.

A High Speed 2 (HS2) interchange station is being built at Arden Cross, next to the NEC campus, adding to the connectivity of the site.

Birmingham City Council owns the land on which the NEC Campus is situated. Council leader Ian Ward is on board with Blackstone’s plans. “This is an exciting moment for Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, as this transformational masterplan is published,” he said. “Birmingham is attracting record levels of investment, and the NEC masterplan is testament to that. Over the coming years this project will provide much-needed new homes and high-quality jobs for people from our region and I encourage people to make their thoughts known through the public consultation.”

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He added: “I believe that we are at the beginning of a golden decade for Birmingham, with the Commonwealth Games taking place next year, and the arrival of HS2. The NEC masterplan will connect the site with Arden Cross and the High Speed 2 Interchange, which together will transform this area, creating thousands of jobs and build thousands of homes.”

NEC Group chief executive Paul Thandi said: “The NEC campus is home to one of the top exhibition venues and arenas in Europe, and together with existing partners, we have long held ambitions to create a competitive destination to work, rest, live and play. These partners have seen the potential of the site and now will help us drive further investment and prosperity to the region. Now is the time to be bold and ambitious about the future and harness the power of the real estate we have to offer, whilst simultaneously maximising the benefits of having a young, diverse and entrepreneurial population.”

The masterplan (available online here) will be subject to a six-week period of public consultation running from 10th November 2021 to 24th December 2021. Following public consultation, the plan will be updated in response to comments and feedback. Following publication of the final masterplan, a process to select a development partner for the first phase of the urban village will start.

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