Homes England, the government housing and regeneration agency, has entered into a memorandum of understanding with development company Digbeth Loc Limited and their partners to help bring MasterChef Studios to its Warwick Bar site in central Birmingham. This is one of the first actions of the agency to implement the upgrading program defined in the government’s white paper on upgrading.
The move marks an important step in the regeneration of Warwick Bar, the keystone of Birmingham’s future Digbeth district.
The development of the new studios will bring major television production from London to the heart of the West Midlands and Birmingham, creating unprecedented new opportunities, jobs and investment, and kick-starting a new creative heart for the city. , paving the way for others in the industry to follow suit.
Homes England has brought together Warwick Bar – a collection of derelict sites and brownfields around Digbeth – over the past few years to help catalyze the wider regeneration of Digbeth.
As one of the first steps on this journey, the agency will seek to lease part of their land, at Fazeley Street, Warwick Bar to Digbeth Loc Limited, who will develop proposals for a mixed-use scheme, starting with a state state-of-the-art film studio to house the BBC’s MasterChef production.
The agreement supports Birmingham City Council’s vision for the region. The council’s Birmingham Development Plan sets out a spatial vision and strategy for the city’s sustainable growth and identifies Digbeth as a new urban village centered on creative industries, leisure and mixed-use residential development.
Mike Palin, Acting Executive Director, Markets, Partners & Places at Homes England, said: “The regeneration of Warwick Bar will have a transformational impact on central Birmingham and the wider economy. Not only will this create jobs in the area, but it will stimulate the development of a creative hub for the city, fulfilling the aspirations of Birmingham City Council and the Leveling Up programme. The relocation of such a major production operation from London to the city is just the first example.
“This agreement demonstrates the importance of working in partnership in the creation of places. We have the expertise, influence and drive to support and empower local leaders to achieve their ambitions and transform abandoned urban sites into beautiful communities.
The deal comes just weeks after the government announced Homes England’s remit would be extended, with a renewed focus on regenerating towns and cities, as part of its Leveling Up white paper.
Steven Knight, Digbeth Loc Limited, said: “I am delighted to kick off the regeneration of this area with this announcement. The arrival of such an iconic and globally respected British brand in the heart of Birmingham is truly a game-changer for the city and the West Midlands. Birmingham welcomes MasterChef with the promise that more is yet to come.
The creative-led commercial regeneration of the Fazeley Street land began late last year, when work began to convert the Grade II listed Junction Works building – a purpose-built canal office at the end 18th Century – into a high quality arts venue showcasing local artists in a building owned by Homes England and leased to Grand Union, a local artists’ collective.
The regeneration of the wider Warwick Bar site has the potential to deliver approximately 1,000 new homes and 25,000 square meters of employment/educational space.
Homes England will continue to work closely with its public and private sector partners to transform the area into a thriving neighborhood and a commercial hub for the city’s growing creative sector, building on Digbeth’s industrial heritage. and future connections with HS2.
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