£10.8m investment kick-starts life sciences development in Birmingham

Birmingham Health Innovation Campus - artist impression

Birmingham Health Innovation Campus (BHIC) has been announced as one of eight ‘shovel ready’ projects in the West Midlands which will benefit from a combined £66 million of Government funding. BHIC will sit at the heart of a critical cluster of health excellence led by Birmingham Health Partners – a strategic alliance between the University of Birmingham and two co-located NHS Foundation Trusts.

The money from the Government’s Getting Building Fund (GGBF) is aimed at projects which can be started quickly and completed within 18 months.  This creates jobs and drives investment to aid the economic recovery following the coronavirus lockdown.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) – working with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, the Black Country LEP and the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP – delivered the region’s prioritised list of projects to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), which has been confirmed today.

£10.8m has been allocated to Birmingham Health Innovation Campus (BHIC), an upcoming development which will create high-quality lab, office, incubation and innovation facilities for forward-thinking businesses. As the only science park in the region dedicated to health and life sciences, BHIC will sit at the heart of a critical cluster of health excellence led by BHP.

Today’s investment will be allocated to the first commercial building to be developed on BHIC – the Precision Health Technology Accelerator (PHTA). This 6,000 sqm facility will offer state-of-the-art incubation and co-creation spaces; access to a fully connected clinical trials translation ecosystem; and testing in real-world environments.

The PHTA will also catalyse diagnostic-enabled clinical trials for precision medicine through Birmingham Precision Medicine Centre, and the development and incubation of new medical technologies will be enabled through a Healthcare Technologies Innovation Hub.

Professor Tim Jones, Provost and Vice-Principal of the University of Birmingham – which owns the land on which BHIC will sit – said: “Our vision of creating a thriving, diverse community of health and life sciences businesses, working in partnership with academic and clinical leaders, is now closer to reality thanks to this significant investment.

“By developing an environment specifically designed to help life science businesses to form, scale, collaborate and grow, BHIC is set to create 3,000 jobs in the first ten years, along with adding more than £180m GVA to our local economy.”

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “At a difficult time for the West Midlands’ economy brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, it is great to see the Government putting further cash on the table to help aid our recovery.

“This £66m from the Get Britain Building Fund will go towards exciting, shovel-ready, projects across the region that will make an immediate difference by helping to create and secure local jobs for local people.

“As well as an immediate investment to re-boot our local economy, the £66m is also an investment in our future, to secure the West Midlands’ place as a global leader in green and clean technology, life sciences, and the transport of the future.”

Cllr Ian Brookfield, WMCA portfolio holder for the economy and leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council said: “In our recovery blueprint we have set out clear priorities to get the West Midlands back to work and the economy back on track.

“These eight projects are ones which, with this extra money, we can get started on straight away to create thousands of jobs and generate further investment.”

Tim Pile, who chairs both the West Midlands Strategic Economic Development Board and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “The projects highlight the real breadth of opportunity to accelerate recovery here in the West Midlands; not only aiding a swift bounce back with an injection of new skilled jobs, but supporting our businesses to lead the way in major new markets that will be drivers of sustainable economic growth in the future.

“Delivery of these projects will play a key role in achieving a wider vision for the region to build on its unique heritage to become a world leader in innovation and creativity. The LEPs will continue to work closely with the WMCA to bring forward investments and see the full potential of the West Midlands realised.”

ENDS

The projects are:

      • £10.8m to provide innovation spaces and research laboratories at the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus
      • £15.1m towards the redevelopment of University Station at the University of Birmingham in Edgbaston
      • £1m towards WM5G’s work with small and medium sized business to develop ground breaking apps
      • £12.4m for the Very Light Rail Innovation Centre in Dudley where new modes of transport which are both green and cheaper and quicker to deliver than traditional tram or rail are being developed.
      • The National Brownfield Land Institute, at the University of Wolverhampton will receive £14.9m. It will research and develop new construction methods and ways of regenerating contaminated land
      • £6m towards Coventry City of Culture to support various initiatives to make the most of the opportunities presented by 2021 – including the creation of a new heritage park
      • Coventry’s Very Light Rail project to receive £1.8m
      • £3.9m towards improved facilities at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry as part of the Commonwealth Games legacy scheme

Combined the projects will create about 2,110 jobs, as well as support 1,419 construction jobs during development.