Client: Birmingham City Council


Working with DTZ, we were appointed by Birmingham City Council to undertake an economic impact assessment of the Curzon Masterplan, which includes key parts of Birmingham City Centre.  The Curzon Masterplan area encompasses five key regeneration zones, namely: Digbeth; Pavilions & High Street; Martineau Galleries and Exchange Square (Masshouse); Millennium Point and Eastside City Park; and Eastside Locks, Birmingham Science Park and the educational offer. The purpose of the study was to provide an assessment of the economic benefits that could be generated through the redevelopment of the Curzon Masterplan area, with consideration given to how alternative design solutions for the proposed HS2 Station at Curzon Street might affect the level of benefits that could be achieved.

The study focuses on the following key aspects:

  • an analysis of the economic impact of the Curzon Masterplan proposals in terms of construction and operational employment, GVA, new household expenditure, uplift in business rates, together with a range of wider economic impacts; and
  • how an alternative, poorly designed solution for the proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) Station at Curzon Street might affect the level of benefits that could be achieved.

The approach to our Economic Impact Assessment Report comprised a review of the economic context to the proposed redevelopment of the Curzon Masterplan area, including general economic trends at the national, regional, LEP and City levels.  In addition, a property market assessment was carried out by DTZ of the proposals and of the wider City Centre market.  This, along with the findings from a series of discussions with local developers and landowners, has helped to inform an analysis of the expected quantifiable outputs and outcomes.

The estimates of economic impact were based on the assumption that the redevelopment of the Curzon Masterplan area is supported through the successful integration of the proposed new HS2 Station. The arrival of HS2 is expected to generate significant economic benefits for Birmingham City Centre and has the potential to help drive investment within the Curzon Masterplan area. However, it was considered that there is the risk that if the Station is not designed appropriately it could form a significant barrier, blocking a number of key pedestrian routes and isolating Digbeth from the rest of the City Core. We concluded that this could have a considerable adverse impact on the regeneration of Digbeth.

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