Birmingham City Council has unveiled plans for the city’s first new urban park in more than 125 years.
It is hoped that the £11m development, located in Birmingham’s Eastside, will encourage private investment and contribute to the broader regeneration of this area of the city.
Despite the failure of Birmingham’s bid for money from the Lottery’s ‘Living Landmarks’ fund two years ago, widespread support for the proposals has prompted the City Council to agree to shoulder the costs of the urban park development, albeit on a tighter budget. The new designs feature recreational space, formal gardens, water features and areas for special events, with the whole development covering a 3.2ha stretch of land. Once completed, the park will offer a striking urban vista to people entering the city.
The project is a core component of a £6bn regeneration scheme aimed at breathing new life into Birmingham’s Eastside through major developments such as the VTP Tower and the Birmingham City University campus. Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council, described the urban park as “a key element of the Big City Plan, encouraging more people to live, work and enjoy both the area and the wider city”.
Mick Laverty, chief executive of Advantage West Midlands, added: “The scheme is easily the biggest regeneration project in the region and is not only creating a significant extension to Birmingham’s thriving city centre, but will also generate high-quality employment and learning.”
A consultation period with local stakeholders is now underway, with plans to present a full business case to the Council later in the year. Construction is expected to begin early in 2010 in time for completion by the end of 2011.