AMION Consulting prepared a high level business case submission supporting the designation Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, establishing a compelling case based upon an assessment of economic impact over the short and longer term. The Enterprise Zone has now been approved.
The assessment highlighted the scale of the potential impact of measures – including business support and incentives, simplified planning arrangements and infrastructure investment – arising from the Enterprise Zone. The assessment of impact was underpinned by a detailed review of growth sectors and an analysis of spatial development characteristics within the City Centre. The paper established the case for reinforcing the strength of the City Centre by targeting the Enterprise Zone to capture and maximise growth potential in the Business and Financial Services sector and the Digital, Media and Creative sector. Development projections underpinned an assessment of gross and net additional employment growth within these sectors, supported by an analysis of the composition of new employment in terms of occupations and skills. This assessment identified the potential for the Enterprise Zone to result in the creation of more than 3,000 gross jobs by 2015, increasing to almost 40,000 in the longer term, alongside a range of wider economic, social and environmental benefits.
In carrying out this commission, the team gained an appreciation of key city centre sites, as well as opportunities, issues and constraints relating to development and regeneration within the Enterprise Zone. There is recognition that through bringing forward good quality employment sites and promoting investment to address infrastructure constraints, and building on opportunities unlocked as a result of HS2, the City Centre has potential to drive growth across the LEP area.
AMION Consulting were subsequently appointed by Birmingham City Council to undertake an economic and property market assessment of proposals to develop two key sites within the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, Paradise Circus and Arena Central, which are both located within the Westside area of Birmingham. The purpose of the economic and property market assessment was to set out a robust economic case for the use of EZ resources to support projects which will underpin the development of both the Paradise Circus and Arena Central sites.