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Shed KM teams up for Fort Dunlop regeneration

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Liverpool-based Shed km Architects last week scooped a £60 million commission to rebuild the famous Fort Dunlop factory beside the M6 motorway in Birmingham. The practice is working with development company Urban Splash on plans to convert the industrial landmark into a 60,000m2 residential, restaurant and sports complex featuring a 50m swimming pool and 270 homes. The appointment is the practice's biggest yet and marks its first commission outside the north west. Fort Dunlop has stood derelict for years and its regeneration follows the transfer of ownership from English Partnerships to the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands. 'We're delighted to see this landmark building, which conveys all the wrong images of the West Midlands, converted at last,' said marketing director Mike Goodhall. Shed km is working in consortium with developers Urban Splash and Birmingham Mailbox. In drawing up plans, the firm invoked the design of an ocean liner to tackle the lack of light in the centre of the building. Advantage West Midlands, which is contributing £6 million to the project, defended the absence of social housing, despite its proximity to the run- down Castle Bromwich housing estate. 'The proposals will build on the uplift of the area,' Goodhall said.The project is due for completion in 2002.

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