Flex Funding Plan Opens Door To Lendlease's £1.5B Birmingham Venture
Lendlease has secured a partnership deal to develop Birmingham’s £1.5B Smithfield scheme that allows its maximum choice in funding partners.
A report to Birmingham City Council’s ruling cabinet confirmed a joint venture with Lendlease to develop the city’s 41-acre Smithfield site, but gives Lendlease wide flexibility on funding partnerships.The council meets to ratify the measures on 15 December.
The agreement allows different phases of the £1.5B development to be owned or funded by different third parties (a partner owning more than 50% would need council agreement).
In return the council grants a 250-year lease, also phase by phase. The council also agrees “not to open or permit a competing market of equivalent scale to the market in the first phase development, on any of the Council’s currently owned land” or within a wider area.
Funding of £131M will be received from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s enterprise zone fund to help meet infrastructure and staff costs of drawing up a business plan including site assembly.
“A separate report is also being made to Cabinet to seek in principle the authority to develop the basis for making a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to support the development of Birmingham Smithfield subject to due diligence and the case for CPO being established,” the report added.
Earlier this autumn it emerged that Birmingham City Council is to pay for the reclamation of a 20-acre slice of the city’s Smithfield site.
The deal with Lendlease was originally slated for approval during June 2020, but the award of the contract was pushed back to winter 2020/21.
Lendlease was chosen as preferred developer for the former wholesale markets site in December 2018. Its plans for the 41-acre site include 2,000 new homes around a rethought market district.