Enterprise Zone

The Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone (EZ) is one of the major programmes for the GBSLEP.

This programme has the potential to create 40,000 new jobs, add £2 billion a year to the economy and make available 1.3 million sq metres of floorspace over the lifetime of the project.

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) chose Birmingham City Centre as their EZ location. The City Centre EZ is made up of 39 sites across the city, in seven clusters. This includes those identified in the Big City Plan as having significant growth opportunities:

  • Westside Snow Hill District
  • Eastside Southern Gateway
  • Digbeth Creative Cluster
  • Birmingham Science Park Aston
  • Jewellery Quarter

The EZ is focused on the following economic sectors:

  • Business and Financial Services
  • ICT
  • Creative Industries
  • Digital Media

For more detailed information about the Enterprise Zone please see the following investment plans.

The Enterprise Zone was first established in 2011 by the GBSLEP. As part of the West Midlands Devolution Deal (2015) the Enterprise Zone was extended to cover the Curzon area, to enable the delivery of local infrastructure and to drive growth.

The first Enterprise Zone Investment plan was launched in 2012 with a £128m programme of investment. In 2014 the investment plan was updated to reflect a longer term investment period up to 2022/23 and a revised £275m infrastructure programme. In 2015 the Enterprise Zone area was extended from its original 26 site to 39 covering 113ha.

In 2016 the Curzon Investment plan was launched setting out £724M Programme .The Enterprise Zone investment plans are funded through the projected growth in business rates generated within the Enterprise Zone sites managed though a financial model.

The Enterprise Zone Investment Plan 2019 consolidates the 2014 City Centre and 2016 Curzon Investment plans, with a strategy that focuses on delivering a phased programme of £460m of projects in the period 2019 – 2028.


Key Projects

The success of the City Centre EZ has played a key role in the creation of the Birmingham Curzon EZ. The first Devolution Deal to the West Midlands saw Government commit to extending the EZ in geography and duration, to cover the Birmingham Curzon Masterplan up to 2046. The Curzon EZ will provide the mechanism to fund a £724m investment programme to maximise the benefits of HS2 in the city’s Eastside district, with a series of local infrastructure improvements that will transform the area and generate:

  • 36,000 jobs
  • 600,000sqm commercial space
  • 4,000 homes
  • £1.7bn private sector leverage

Project Highlights include;

Paradise (Delivery) EZ investment £139m (Total project cost £500m)

Phase 1 of the Paradise development has now delivered 335,000sqft of prime office space. Price Waterhouse Coopers were the first to locate, moving into 150,000sqft of space in One Chamberlain Square in January 2020, followed by Dishoom who opened their doors in July 2020. Two Chamberlain Square is nearing completion with a positive take-up of floorspace by DLA Piper, Frank Knight and Vinoteca. Work commenced on Phase 2 of One Centenary Way, which is being speculatively built to deliver another 135,000sqft of office space. In total the Paradise scheme will deliver 10,000 jobs and 1.5m sqft of new floorspace.

Belmont Works (Delivery) EZ Investment £2.5m (Total project costs £57.9m)

Located at Eastside Locks the comprehensive conversion/refurbishment of the locally listed Belmont Works will help fund the construction of a new multi-use office building for STEAMhouse, a collaborative innovation centre focused around STEAM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths). The facility will include a teaching and learning space delivered by Birmingham City University through a STEAM Academy.

Metro Extension (Completed) EZ Investment £20.4m (Total project cost £64m).

The Metro became operational in December 2019 and is the first tramway in the UK to operate on battery power, removing the need to fix electrical wires to listed buildings. The Metro has brought forward the Westside extension of the Midland Metro from New Street Station, serving Victoria Square, Paradise and Arena Central developments. 

The current programme of projects can be found here. 

Read more about the Curzon Masterplan here.