Birmingham City Centre Shopping Redevelopment

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 02-05-14 18:04

City Centre before Regeneration

  • congested, run down and unppealing for visitors and potential shoppers
  • only 1 department store and little in the way of new generation retail - limited range of shops
  • Retailers deterred by high rent prices
  • Bullring cenre was a 'concrete jungle'

The London and Edinburgh Trust was the first to propose redevelopment plans but faced numerous issues:

  • local and public opinion/criticism
  • Selfridges (which was to be the staple shop) was reluctant to open a store due to restrictions in the area
  • Incidended with a recession with stopped the development for years
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The Birmingham Alliance

...made up of Hammerson, Land Securities and Hendersons...

The groups had to align their own interest with the opportunity avaliable to Birmingham to redevelop its city centre. In the end, all three groups invested in equal measure and stood to lose or gain the same depending on the projects success

The most effective part was their inclusion of Birmingham City Council and by extension the public - this led to an open and effective three year planning process. Project recieved £6million in investment to the £500million project across a 40acre site.

The centre now has:

  • 160shops
  • 25 restaurants
  • created 8000 jobs in Birmingham
  • 3 anchor stores:- Selfridges, Debenhams and Tk Maxx
  • 3000 parking spaces and local public transport links for rail and bus routes
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Important Redevelopments


  • an underground tunnel was constructed for taxi and bus services to connect the nearby train station
  • numerous walkways and pedestrian areas
  • the design recaptured the historic patterns and views to create a more pleasant environment
  • £2milion invested in art for public areas like the famous Bull Statue
  • Trees planted throughout the complex


  • CISCO system provides wifi for consumers and a network that is accessible to all retailers as well as management
  • Retailers can reach consumers quickly with promotional offers and marketing on the 31 plasma screens - also allows stalls and kiosks to stay connected with the stores
  • The centre is now accessible 24hours a day and retailers have seen a huge increase in sales since using the systems
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Impact elsewhere in Birmingham

...26% of retailers in the centre have opened a second or third store in the city outside of the bullring

The competition with the Bullring has led to huge refurbishment and investment projects - House of Fraser, for example, invested £30million on refurbishing their Birmingham store. 

Birmingham as a whole has seen a 40% increase in the retail it has to offer, it is now second only to London's west end and people form Europe come shopping to the Bulllring. This is reflected in footfall - the Bullring saw 36million visitors in its first year alone

8000 jobs created lowered unemployment in Birmingham

Improved public transport - train operators have seen a 7% increase in their usage. 

Hotels have seen occupancy increase from the tourism - in the 12 months after opening weekend stays in the city increased by 8%

60% of visitors to the Bulllring intend to visit Birmingham's other prime retail locations like its High Street - increased footfall has led to a resurgence of retail letting and an upgrading of shops on these streets

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Sport led Regeneration

...the investment is sport or sporting facilities in order to address inner city decline. 

It brings:

  • investment in development which is a catalyst for regeneration
  • investment in tourism, services and envionmental improvements
  • media attention which acts as marketing for the area
  • short term building work and construction employment which requires skills that many inner city workers have
  • more external investment after the event as it changes the image of the area
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London 2012 and East London Generation


  • Praise from the international community makes the area appealing to future investors and encourages more tourism after the games
  • 9000 new homes in the park
  • Schools, health and community facilities have been constructed along with the huge investment in transport links
  • Olympics venues have/are being converted into public facilities
  • influx of people wanting to try new sports and get involved
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UK Green Building Council

  • Remediation of contaminated Land:- authorities chose to clean the soil and were able to retina 80% of that in the area. It has created new technology that can now be used nationally
  • Large Scale Energy Solutions:- A combined heating, cooling and power system was developed as part fo the carbon reduction aims of the games. This has imporved energy efficiency of the area
  • The surrounding area was cleaned up and repaired to support the development - many flats and council homes were rejuvenated and improved
  • Cleaning and Maintaining the River Lee Valley - removing pollutants, debris and repairing parts of the channel. The section that ran through the park completely rebuilt to create a water park area.
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Economic Impacts

  • more appealing environment is attractive to business and home owners
  • employment and training was provided through a skills academy - the 20% of jobs that went to local people left them with transferable and employable skills
  • Londond Development Agency relocated all of the 284 businesses in the development site and ensure that none would be financially worse off as a result
  • increased hous prices
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  • A need for affordable housing - 75% were supposed to be affordable but this is nearer to 25%. This raises questions as to whether residents enjoy better living standards or have been forced out into other equally deprived areas of London
  • The sense of community and belonging has been changed
  • few job opportunities for original residents
  • Concern that the £9.3billion, including £800million in lottery funding, will not see a return
  • people feel the money should have all been invested in worthwhile projects and not flat pack stadiums never to be used again
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Regional Shopping Centres - Merry Hill

...located just outside of Birmingham off the M5 with a dual carriageway bypass added in 1999. It has a catchment area fo 3million people in Dudley and Halesowen. It opens from 9am-9pm and has hire carts for families with small children so that they can ride instead of walk for a long time

It was built on a steel works site and has been expanded onto some small greenfield areas, despite protests from some local residents. Developers took advantage of the Enterprise Zone which gave incentives to firms wishing to set up in this derelict area.


  • 10,000  free car parking spaces
  • Bus service to connect the centre to Cradley Heath Railway Station
  • Regular bus services to Birmingham city centre and local estates
  • Anchor stores:- Primark, Next, M&S and Debenhams
  • 10screen cinema open to midnight
  • 24catering outlets - major ones open from 11am -10:30pm
  • banks and building socities as well as community facilities
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Impact of Surrounding Towns

  • Stores have left their premises and moved into merry hill, leaving large vacant properties
  • Shoppers not visiting the local high street anymore leading to a downturn in these areas
  • Remaining stores are no longer viable - particularly bad in Dudley
  • Dudley Council brought in parking fees in the town centre so it became increasingly expensive for shoppers

Recent Developments to Improve Competitiveness

  • Improve connections and integration between Merry Hill and the traditional town centre of Brierly Hill in order to compete with the redevelopment of Solihull in Birmingham
  • A new line of the Midland Metrotram  system is being constructed and terminates just a small distance from Brierley Hiil Town centre, making Merry Hill more accessible
  • A new leisure plateau complex is being constructed in-between Brierly Town Centre and Merry Hill - allows integration and aims to increase revenue from day long shoppers
  • Redeveloping to acheive high levels of 'green' efficiency - Merry Hill was the first retail development to be awared the Building Research Establishment Environmental Asessment Method Accreditation (BREEAM Accreditation)
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