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Birmingham Science Developers Show Leadership As City Leadership In Crisis

Birmingham City Council's HQ at Victoria Square

As Birmingham City Council faced a day of political uncertainty about who would lead it and on what terms, the city's science property sector stepped in to fill the gap.

A new Birmingham science innovation cluster is to be created on 48 acres around the city's Aston University, a consortium announced.

The National Executive Committee of the city council's ruling Labour Group announced on Tuesday that it was stripping local councillors of the choice of Labour's candidate to be leader of the council, following a report into local organisational failings. On Wednesday the existing leader, Ian Ward, declared his intention to seek the leadership role in any case. The crisis is far from resolved.

The Birmingham Innovation Quarter, or B-IQ, proposal comes from Bruntwood SciTech, Aston University and Birmingham City Council. Existing sites such as the former Aston Science Park and the Bruntwood SciTech campus will be included.

The partners will now set up a legal mechanism to deliver the masterplan.

The proposal was welcomed by Ward, despite his own position being in doubt.

Arcadis and Howells will now develop a spatial framework to deliver the proposal, which will include residential and leisure space along with tech, science and teaching.