To many of us Brummies, last year’s Commonwealth Games were the pinnacle of Birmingham’s modern life. The city was a buzz with visitors, sporting thrills and cultural moments most will long remember. It was everything we love about Birmingham coming together as one. At the centre of all was the Smithfield Festival site, hosting several games venues as well.
Now this 17-hectare site, situated in the heart of the city, might find new life. Plans to transform the area have been submitted to Birmingham City Council. A joint venture between the City Council and Lendlease, an international real estate group, they submitted plans for approval based on numerous consultations with local people. This included speaking to residents, businesses, community organisations, market traders, and a dedicated youth panel.
What are the plans for Smithfield Birmingham?
The new scheme will provide a new home for the city’s Bull Ring markets that have operated on Smithfield for the past 200 years. The new City Centre centrepiece will also include a rooftop garden, dining hall and new market square.
Elsewhere, the plans also include a brand-new events space, Festival Square. This will host live performances and cultural events for thousands of people. Meanwhile, Smithfield Gardens will provide residents with access to green space on their doorstep to unwind and keep fit. More cycling routes and eco-friendly transport options will also be added, as well as improved walking routes to the rest of the City Centre.
On top of all this, 600 sustainable and modern homes will initially be built. With a total of 3,000 homes planned over the coming years, including affordable homes. There are even more ambitious plans to create a workspace campus of over one million square feet. It is estimated Smithfield will produce 8,000 new jobs.
“Throughout 2022 we’ve been part of a city-wide conversation with people who live and work in Birmingham, inviting comments on our plans from all corners of the city including those who are at the heart of today’s Bull Ring Markets,” said Colin Murphy, Project Lead at Lendlease. “And the submission of our planning application is a pivotal moment for a £1.9bn development that will provide thousands of new jobs and homes.”
“This is an exceptional opportunity to create and celebrate the next chapter in Birmingham’s transformation as an international city. Smithfield will provide the opportunity to create a destination market experience to rival Europe’s best; as well as an international office hub with access to outstanding transport links.”
Birmingham City Council will make a decision on the planning submission in early 2023. If approved, construction will begin later this year. To see the full plans and further updates on Smithfield Birmingham head here.