Solihull's Urban Growth Company to close - The Solihull Observer

Solihull's Urban Growth Company to close

Solihull Editorial 13th Dec, 2023   0

THE DOORS are set to close on a company that has overseen the development and regeneration connected with HS2 in Solihull.

The work carried out by the Urban Growth Company (UGC) to make UK Central a reality will be handed over to Solihull Council.

When its work ends later this year, the Urban Growth Company will have spent more than seven years helping to formulate plans and the environment for major infrastructure investment, leading to the delivery of significant improvements in the area.

These improvements are said to enhance connectivity and ensure that the HS2 Interchange Station and the UK Central Hub development areas are linked into the network of travel, employment, and leisure opportunities across the region.

Its hard working and dedicated team of specialists have been futureproofing plans around the HS2 Interchange station.

The Urban Growth company’s main aim has been to shape the creation of commercial space, housing and supporting infrastructure by adhering to the strong design principles necessary for the development.

UGC chairman Nick Brown said: “Thanks to the work of the Urban Growth Company we are now in a much better position to create the vision originally envisaged by the leaders of Solihull Council.

“That was to provide a place of economic growth and vitality in the UK Central Hub (UKC) area.

“What’s now being planned is a much more sustainable and deliverable development and very different from the ‘Parkway’ type station that was originally planned by HS2 Ltd.”

Major achievements of the Urban Growth Company include negotiations over car parking spaces at the Interchange Station and enhancements to a major roundabout above the HS2 main line

The Urban Growth Company has also achieved the RICS Gold Standard for conflict avoidance and won regional awards for sustainability and for partnership working.

It’s also secured £63m in external funding which has helped it to deliver its business plans between 2016-2023 and is expected to hand back £18.5m in savings, which could be spent on further enhancements, including better public transport around the UKC Hub area.

UGC managing director, Jonathan Bretherton said: “The legacy will be two-fold. First, we have built in sufficient capacity, flexibility, and resilience around the Hub area to enable future growth and secondly, done that in a way that creates great places.

“There’s no doubt the placemaking opportunities going forward have been transformed by UGC’s role over the last seven years.”

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