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Bruntwood SciTech Doubles The Size of Birmingham's New 1M SF Health Campus


Bruntwood SciTech/University of Birmingham's new health innovation campus in the city will be more than double the size of original plans.

A 10-acre site close to the University of Birmingham and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, east of the A43 Aston Webb Boulevard, will be redeveloped as a 1M SF health and innovation campus. It is badged as the West Midlands’ only dedicated health and life sciences campus.

Birmingham City Council has now granted planning permission.

It is the biggest step yet in the development of new science property infrastructure in Birmingham and transforms a former battery-making site that had previously been earmarked for a supermarket and petrol station.

An 18-month rethink of the scheme led by its new partners at Bruntwood SciTech means the campus will be more than double the original size — earlier plans envisaged just 417K SF.

Construction will take 10 years.

This is what you need to know.

1. The Numbers

Building 1 will have a gross internal floorspace of 171K SF and will be occupied by the university. Birmingham City Council granted full permission so the project can go ahead whenever funding allows. Site clearance has already been completed and paperwork submitted to the city council suggests an early start on-site. It will be a hub for businesses working in medtech, biopharma, precision medicine, healthcare AI and genomics. An outline application has been submitted for the rest of the scheme, which includes five office buildings and a 1,333-space multi-storey car park. The office buildings will be 182K SF, 172K SF, 118K SF, 107K SF and 81K SF. The entire scheme, including ancillary provision, amounts to a shade over 1M SF.

The Precision Health Technologies Accelerator will take three floors in Building 1. This facility will focus on enabling the stratification of patients and their treatments, allowing for a better understanding of treatments and how they can be used within certain groups of people. The aim is to improve the drug development pipeline.

2. Economic Impact

The life sciences campus is expected to add £185M a year to West Midlands gross value added (including a £135M GVA boost to the city of Birmingham). This is around double earlier expectations.

As one of only six national Life Sciences Opportunity Zones identified by the UK government in February 2020, and the only LSOZ outside of the south of England, the new campus is expected to attract significant inward investment to the region and catalyse a new high-growth life sciences cluster for Birmingham and the wider West Midlands. Bruntwood SciTech and the university hope it will help create a world-leading health and innovation ecosystem, providing much-needed additional clinical and incubation space. 

The campus was announced earlier this year as one of eight shovel-ready projects within the West Midlands as part of the government’s Getting Building Fund, planning application paperwork said.

3. Who Is Behind It

The applicant was Birmingham Health Innovation Campus Ltd, a joint venture between Bruntwood SciTech and Birmingham University. Bruntwood SciTech is itself a 50:50 joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General. A strategic alliance between the University of Birmingham and two NHS Foundation Trusts — Birmingham Women’s & Children’s and University Hospitals Birmingham — is also collaborating in the project.

The site has been in the ownership of the University of Birmingham since 2017. The university announced its partnership with Bruntwood SciTech and the formation of the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus Ltd in October. Bruntwood SciTech has taken on a long lease to develop Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, in collaboration with the local hospital trusts.