New housing underway in Birmingham's historic Jewellery Quarter following WMCA funding

A £4.2 million loan from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is helping to breathe new life into a derelict site in the heart of Birmingham's historic Jewellery Quarter.

More than 30 apartments are being built on the site at Carver Street and Pope Street in Hockley as part of a multi-million pound housing scheme by a leading Midlands regeneration specialist.

The project by Complex Development Projects (CDP) – the company behind the award-winning FarGo Village and live-work apartment scheme at Electric Wharf in Coventry – will include one, two and three-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 475 sq ft to 1,603 sq ft.


New housing underway in Birmingham's historic Jewellery Quarter following WMCA funding

From the left, Cllr Bob Sleigh (Deputy Mayor of the West Midlands), Gerald Gannaway (Property Investment Director at Frontier Development Capital), Brian Harrabin (Director at Complex Development Projects) and Andy Green (Investment Director, Finance Birmingham)

The scheme comes after CDP secured a £4.2 million loan from the WMCA's Collective Investment Fund (CIF), via Frontier Development Capital and a £450,000 grant from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s (GBSLEP) Unlocking Stalled Housing Sites Programme.

Cllr Bob Sleigh, Deputy Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “This is another great example of how the WMCA is using its money to breathe new life into derelict plots.

“Our ‘invest to unlock’ policy means that difficult-to-develop sites such as this one can now be transformed into much needed new housing.

“And that’s important because the region needs to build 215,000 new homes by 2031 and we need to make sure the vast majority of these are on brownfield, former industrial land.”

Nine of the apartments are duplex units with open-plan loft style living in the building which ranges from three to five storeys.

The homes are located next to the award-winning Grade II listed craft beer pub, the Pig & Tail, in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter.

Brian Harrabin, a director at CDP, said the development was taking place on the site of a hotel scheme that had been planned by a previous developer.

He said: “We are renowned for our high-quality innovative design and this project is no different.

“The striking brick elevations will reflect the former heritage and style prevalent in the Jewellery Quarter with a mix of designs that give the appearance of several buildings.

“It brings forward much-needed housing stock in Birmingham city centre and is in a great location to give easy walking access to the city and the attractions of the Jewellery Quarter.

“This is an exciting but challenging scheme within a Conservation Area as when we acquired the site we inherited a number of problems from the earlier proposal for a hotel and this has meant there has been a great deal of preparatory work to adapt it to the new proposals.

“The steel frame and intermediate floors have now been completed and we hope the first residents will move in in July 2020.”

Gerald Gannaway, Property Investment Director at Frontier Development Capital, said: “We’re delighted to support this innovative scheme, which will provide a high-quality development offering a good mix of housing sizes, on a formerly derelict and overgrown site. The sympathetic design in keeping with the Conservation Area makes it particularly attractive.

“This is a prime example of how the WMCA’s property funds can, working in conjunction with the local LEP, be a catalyst for regeneration projects across the region, especially schemes that might otherwise be deemed by traditional lenders as too challenging to progress.”

The development marks a return to the Jewellery Quarter for CDP’s directors who led the early regeneration of the area in the 1980s and early 1990s with projects in Paul’s Square and Newhall Street, and the first residential mixed-use site at the Grade II Victoria Works.