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Secret Talks Due As £1.5B Lendlease Birmingham Smithfield Deal Approaches

The Smithfield site in the Birmingham urban context

Officially, the procurement process for the £1.5B Smithfield redevelopment in central Birmingham is still ongoing.

However, a newly published cabinet document shows the procurement process is racing to a conclusion. The city's ruling cabinet is preparing for secret discussions on the award of a development contract at Smithfield and an associated compulsory purchase order.

An official notice has been filed indicating that confidential discussions will take place on both issues at the cabinet meeting on 23 June.

Birmingham City Council has remained tight-lipped since Lendlease was selected. 

“Lendlease was announced as the council’s preferred developer in January 2019, however the procurement process is still ongoing and we anticipate being able to award the developer’s contract later this year," the city council told Bisnow in a statement.

Lendlease’s plans for the 41-acre site include 2,000 new homes around a rethought market district.

Bisnow revealed in May 2020 that the June cabinet meeting will agree what council documents called a “compulsory purchase order to be for the acquisition of land, property and other interests at the Birmingham Smithfield site for the purpose of securing vacant possession of the site to facilitate a major city centre regeneration project in accordance with the Smithfield Masterplan." 

The same documents revealed that 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 family destination including a leisure and cultural offer, a new public square, integrated public transport, 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.