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Could The £1.5B Smithfield Development Be Slowed By Brexit?

Birmingham smithfield wholesale markets digbeth lendlease january 2019
The international sports event space at Lendlease's Smithfield scheme

Lendlease, the developer behind the £1.5B mixed redevelopment of the Smithfield area of Birmingham, has warned of the dangers of a hard no-deal Brexit.

Lendlease was chosen as preferred developer of the 41-acre city centre site in January. In July it launched an international design competition. However, statements from Lendlease suggest capital deployment could be delayed.

The developer, which has a £15B UK development pipeline, warned that a hard Brexit would hit asset prices, The Financial Times reported.

Lendlease Chief Executive Steve McCann said it preferred a low-impact solution to Brexit but like many others were sitting on their hands until the Brexit crisis was resolved. Until then capital deployment would be limited.

The development giant has contingency plans if capital values slide or liquidity dries up, he said.

In Birmingham Lendlease will form a contractual joint venture with the City Council and lead the creation of an urban quarter that includes a new home for the city’s historic Bull Ring retail markets, a unique family destination including a leisure and cultural offer, a new public square, integrated public transport and more than 2,000 homes with a public park and community facilities.

The development will be a short walk from the new HS2 city-centre terminus at Curzon Street, which is set to open in 2026.