Birmingham City Council-owned Birmingham Science Park has selected Stourport-on-Severn headquartered Thomas Vale Construction Ltd as the joint venture partner for its £35 million Digital Plaza development.
The decision concludes the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) selection process, which commenced in November 2011, with over 80 initial expressions of interest.
A highly innovative funding model will enable the first Digital Plaza building - iCentrumTM - to be built speculatively, ending a four year drought of no purely speculative office development in Birmingham.
The first building has an estimated construction cost of £7.5 million and will take 12 months to build.
The Science Park’s flagship Faraday Wharf building (completed in 2001) will be upgraded and linked to iCentrumTM via a first floor bridge.
A detailed planning application for the 30,000 sq ft iCentrumTM building, together with an outline application for the rest of the 120,000 sq ft Digital Plaza development will be submitted later this summer. Subject to planning approval, work will start on site before the end of 2012.
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council said: “Investment into Birmingham Science Park is one of the City Council’s key objectives. It is critical that we support entrepreneurial talent, diversify our economy and create new high value jobs.
"Now 30 years old, the Park’s reputation for success is growing on an international stage, and the Digital Plaza development will ensure the innovation spotlight is shone on this city.”
Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Birmingham Science Park said: “As the economy continues the slow climb out of recession, it is tremendous news that Thomas Vale Construction’s proposals will enable us to deliver the first Digital Plaza building speculatively, while also linking with - and investing into an upgrade of - our flagship Faraday Wharf building.
"To think that work could start on site before the end of this year is very positive, as it is imperative that we meet the needs, aspirations and work patterns of the city’s rapidly growing number of talented and innovative tech entrepreneurs.”
Birmingham Science Park is the gateway to the Eastside learning and knowledge quarter. The Digital Plaza site is accessed off Holt Street/Enterprise Way and A38 Aston Expressway.