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Regeneration Focus: Connaught Square, Digbeth

Mark Hempshell reports

It seems that property developers in Birmingham like to think big. Not content with just constructing a building, they tend to advance schemes which reshape an entire district. The city has been the location of some very substantial schemes in recent years with the then-pioneering Brindleyplace in 1993, followed by Snowhill and more recently Paradise and Arena Central.

These developers would probably argue that if you want to think big Birmingham is the place to do it. The city has huge tracts of post-industrial land still awaiting regeneration, combined with a fast expanding population and a growing office-based economy in need of commercial space. The arrival of HS2 here in 2026 will also most likely be a game changer.

One of the newest grand Birmingham schemes to obtain consent is Connaught Square in Digbeth. In this report we will look more closely at what it involves and why it is significant to the future of this area.

Connaught Square has a £200m gross development value. It will consist of residential, commercial, retail and public space on a site at Digbeth just to the east of the immediate city centre, approximately a 10 minute walk from the Bullring shopping mall and New Street Station. The scheme is described by the developers Seven Capital, which has advanced a number of residential projects in the city in recent years, as ‘an entirely new destination within the city’.

Connaught Square will be built in two phases by Seven Capital’s construction company Colmore Tang. The overall scheme consists of 770 apartments partly within a 27 storey landmark tower, 2,000 sq ft of commercial space plus community facilities. Work on site is expected to begin in summer 2019 with the first phase expected to complete in March 2022 and the whole project fully completed in August 2023.

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