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Paradise Resumed

March 2020
The Paradise development takes shape, developed by Paradise Circus Limited Partnership.

Building work has resumed on the £1B+ Paradise development in Birmingham, after a brief coronavirus shutdown.

Although small-scale, the return of 20 to 30 construction workers to the central Birmingham site marks a modest return to life of the comatose West Midlands development scene. 

Hermes and its development manager Argent began site clearance and enabling works  at the end of last year ahead of the construction of the new 280K SF office building at One Centenary Square. The 13-storey building designed by Birmingham-based Glenn Howells Architects will form the gateway to the 2M SF Paradise scheme.

Argent said that restarting work on-site, albeit at a staff density that allows for social distancing, is important for the maintenance of supply chains.

Much of the work programmed for the resumption involves public realm improvements, made easier by the low pedestrian numbers thanks to lockdown.

“After a thorough review of operations at Paradise Birmingham in light of the very latest guidance from government, main contractor BAM Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine have decided to recommence work from 16 April 2020 to help deliver progress across Paradise,” Argent Regional Director Rob Groves said.

“New risk assessments have been carried out on a site specific basis and the decision will be reviewed regularly to ensure everyone is adhering to the very latest guidelines. 

“There will be a considerably smaller workforce operating at Paradise at this time, but this decision will help to sustain direct contractor jobs and in the associated, local supply chains.”

All contractors working at Paradise will be wearing full personal protective equipment, including masks, and practising social distancing during their work on site as well as adhering to all other government guidelines. 

This approach adheres to the new Site Operating Procedures developed by Build UK and the Construction Leadership Council required under the Coronavirus Act 2020. 

The work being undertaken will be limited in scope in order to maintain the highest levels of safety for contractors' employees, supply chain and the wider public in the interests of the health, safety and welfare of all.

Construction work on almost all Birmingham development stopped on 23 March.

Earlier this spring Hermes and Argent revealed that as many as 300 new build-to-rent apartments are to be added to the office-led Paradise redevelopment as the city's property sector pivots toward BTR.

The new residential building will replace plans for Two Congreve Square, a block identified on the original master plan for a 120K SF office building.