Birmingham's Big City Plan: Taking a look at the Uk's largest infrastructure projects and where they are now

Posted on 31 August 2022

Every week, HSQ has been taking an in-depth look at some of the UK's largest infrastructures projects, taking a look at the contractors involved, how the project is going and where it is currently headed. In recent weeks we've taken a look at Crossrail, Tideway, Hinkley Point C, Battersea Power Station Redevelopment, Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme. This week we're looking Birmingham's Big City Plan, that will take the city from outdated to modern and increase it's central size by over 25%... truly developing the Midlands hub.



What is the Birmingham Big City Plan?

The BirminghamBig City Plan sets out a framework plan for how the city of Birmingham will improve over the next 20 years. it is one of the most ambitious development projects ever undertaken in the UK.The Big City Plan will ambitiously increase the size of the city core by 25%. The project's vision is to support and encourage Birmingham's continuation in becoming a world-class city centre and improve transport connectivity.


After suffering massively in World War 2, the city was rebuilt in the 1960s with the Inner Ring Road, Bull Ring Shopping centre and the redevelopment of New Street Station. These developments were very much of the time and used cheaper alternatives to bring Birmingham Central back to it's former glory. For the city to progress and keep up with a radically changing landscape, committees came together in 2008 to form 'The Birmingham Big City Plan'.


The expansive project will integrate sustainable development, looking into the impact of climate change on the future transformation of the city centre. It will also create over 50,000 job opportunities to improve public spaces, bringing more culture into the city of Birmingham.


As part of the development, in June 2021, Birmingham successfully launched 'Birmingham's Clean Air Zone', operating in central Birmingham. Much like London's Low Emission Zones, the Clean Air Zone subjects vehicles that do not meet emission standards to a daily fee. This will contribute to making Birmingham a more sustainable city as within the first year of the zone being launched, there has been a 13% decrease in Nitrogen Dioxide Levels.

Contractors Involved in the Big City Plan

  • Arcadis are responsible as lead consultants


History of the Big City Plan

  • 2008 - The plan is launched with an extensive public consultation stage

  • 2009 - Brindley place, a new urban neighbourhood is completed and the first commercial building Snowhill is completed

  • 2010 - Construction begins for Grand Central Shopping Center

  • 2012 - Eastside City Park launches

  • 2013 - New library opens

  • 2014 - Snowhill two is complete

  • 2015 - Redevelopment of New Street Station launches

  • 2015 - Grand Central shopping centre opens it doors following 5 years of construction

  • 2017 - plans for mixed use, £330 million regeneration of New Garden Square is lodged

  • 2018 - Phase 1 begins

  • 2019 - Snowhill three is completed, phase 2 begins

  • 2020 - Phase 1 is completed

  • 2021 - Construction of Birmingham Curzon for HS2 project begins



Where is the Big City Plan currently?

In July, Birmingham proudly became the host city for the Commonwealth games, demonstrating the very best talent across athletics. As a result of this £700m was publicly invested across the city, which will assist in the transformation of the city.


Currently, the Big City Plan is going through phase 2 which is due to be completed in 2023, building growth on new spaces for companies, bringing in new opportunities and creating brand new innovative spaces.


The big city plan is also currently looking at the longer term opportunities, looking at investment and growth for the city, the completion of HS2 (link) and opportunities of how to build upon the wider areas of the city.

What's next?

Next for the Big City Plan is the completion of many projects, these are Birmingham Cruzon, New Garden Square and Peddimore.

Next for the project is completion of phase 2, which started in 2019 and is due to be finished in 2023.

The Numbers

  • Created over 30,000 job opportunities

  • Created 1.5million square metres of floor space for new businesses

  • 5,000 new homes to be built

  • 28km of improved pedestrian and cycle paths

Last week we took a look into the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, click here to find out more

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