A survey of cranes on Birmingham’s skyline has found that office construction in the city has reached the highest level in 13 years
More than 90,000m2 of office space is currently under construction in the city, including Doone Silver’s 30,322m² replacement for John Madin’s NatWest Tower (see AJ 07.08.15).
In 2013 just 1,300m2 of office space was being built across Birmingham, according to the survey which is carried out by Deloitte.
The consultant claims the results show that ‘developer confidence has returned, heralding a mix of both speculative schemes and pre-let driven developments’.
The report also reveals a significant increase in the number of hotels, leisure and retail developments being built.
The construction of student accommodation in the city has also returned to growth after two years of inactivity.
But construction of education facilities and residential schemes has seen a decline. No residential completions were recorded by the survey and just one education building was being built.
Edwin Bray, lead partner of Deloitte Real Estate in the Midlands, said: ‘This is an incredibly positive report in many ways, and reflects the sentiment towards Birmingham and the wider Midlands region that we are seeing across our firm and client-base, not just here in the UK, but globally.
‘The Midlands ‘engine’ is roaring loud and clear, and the year-on-year improvements and investments, such as the £600million refurbishment of New Street Station, the Grand Central Shopping Centre and the new Midlands Metro, just continue to strengthen the city’s offer.’
Pauline Biddle, practice senior partner for Deloitte in the Midlands, added: ‘This latest Deloitte Crane Survey shows that the bridge between London and the regions in the recent economic downturn appears to have strengthened, with confidence in Birmingham and other regional centres improving year-on-year.
’This has been reinforced by the commitments from some of the world’s biggest brands to relocate and expand their Birmingham operations and the Chancellor’s latest announcement of a £1.1billion devolution package.’
Birmingham crane stats