HCA and Crest Nicholson get Britain building at Park Central, Birmingham

Work is set to start on the latest phase of development at Park Central in Birmingham, after the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) confirmed £3.96m of investment from the Get Britain Building programme this week – the agency’s first allocation in the Midlands. With contracts exchanged Crest Nicholson can now begin work on the latest phase of this award-winning development. This is the thirteenth phase of the scheme, which will deliver 132 new one and two bedroom apartments in two residential buildings sitting over a 139 space undercroft car park. When complete, Park Central will have provided over 1600 homes with 1100 already complete. The £570m Get Britain Building programme, announced as part of the Government’s Housing Strategy in November 2011, is supporting housebuilders by providing access to development finance to unlock up to 16,000 new homes across the country, protecting and creating thousands of jobs. Anne-Marie Simpson, Head of Midlands Central for the HCA said: “It is great news that Crest Nicholson can get work back on track at Park Central and that the Get Britain Building programme continues to deliver new housing and safeguard jobs. This news will be a major boost for Birmingham and its ambitions for news homes and economic growth.” Chris Tinker, Regeneration Chairman at Crest Nicholson, said: “Government initiatives such as Get Britain Building are essential to help stimulate the housing market and are fundamental to unlocking future growth. Bringing forward much needed new housing in partnership with the public sector is a key objective for us, and securing this latest funding allocation for the next phase of development is Park Central is a major step that means we can now concentrate on future delivery. The scale of this site makes it a significant addition to the Birmingham housing market, and we are committed to developing a prosperous community that not only creates new homes, but also brings new life and new long-term opportunities to the area.” This striking new phase at Park Central, named Central Plaza, will be located at the heart of the development and will link together the eight acres of landscaped parkland at Park Central. The two new buildings have been designed so that the majority of apartments will benefit from advantageous views. In keeping with the existing green spaces, the central phase will boast a combination of green roof planting and high-quality paved areas for residents’ use. All homes supported by the Get Britain Building programme must be complete by December 2015. Get Britain Building is intended to address difficulties in accessing development finance faced by some housebuilders and to help bring forward sites with planning permission that can deliver housing and wider community benefits. It operates by making loans available to projects on commercial rates, or taking equity stakes to share risk. The investment is recoverable over a two to five year period, and by March 2018.

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