Birmingham City Council has approved plans for a new 120,000 sq ft development that will provide new workspace for digital and tech businesses, supporting the rapid growth of the sector in the West Midlands.
The new £30m Enterprise Wharf is being developed by Bruntwood SciTech at the Innovation Birmingham campus – already the UK’s largest dedicated digital tech campus which is home to over 170 businesses working in high growth sectors such as edtech, sportstech, medtech, VR, AR and cybersecurity.
The news comes as tech job vacancies in the region leapt 27 per cent over the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2019, particularly in areas such as fintech, cyber security and IoT, according to JobFeed data.
Enterprise Wharf’s approval follows the recent planning approval of HS2 Curzon Street Station which will be located minutes’ from the campus, and last month’s news that 5PRING, the UK’s first 5G commercial application accelerator programme – led by telecoms giant Telefonica, launched at Innovation Birmingham following a successful bid by the West Midlands Combined Authority to become the nation’s inaugural 5G testbed.
The building will feature a large, open plan reception and collaboration space, cycle storage and kit drying room, showers and a roof garden and will be delivered alongside new outdoor breakout space, landscaping and public realm, including improved access to the adjacent Birmingham and Fazeley canal.
David Hardman, Managing Director, Bruntwood SciTech – Birmingham, said: “The West Midlands is home to an ever-expanding digital tech ecosystem. Connecting start-ups with global corporates and the public sector is crucial to its evolution. Enterprise Wharf will help to expand our innovation community and help the sector flourish.”
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “A thriving digital economy is essential for the city’s future and Enterprise Wharf will provide the kind of quality infrastructure that’s needed to entice established players to Birmingham, while also helping to catalyse future success stories from within our community of entrepreneurs.”
Located next to both Aston University and Birmingham City University, Bruntwood SciTech’s Innovation Birmingham campus is already a magnet for digital tech entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale ups and large corporates.
Enterprise Wharf is currently scheduled for completion in 2022. Agents Avison Young and Savills UK have been appointed on the scheme. The development is designed by Associated Architects, with planning consultancy from Turley