The regeneration of Perry Barr in Birmingham took another step forwards today as it was confirmed that construction is now complete on the first phase of the Perry Barr Residential Scheme. Almost 1,000 much-needed new homes are now available for rent or sale on a former university campus in the north of the city.
Completion of the new homes was announced at the same time that Lendlease, the principal contractor for the scheme on behalf of Birmingham City Council, revealed the project has beaten a number of targets it was set in order to help support the local economy and bring wider community benefits.
More than 650 new jobs have been created for local people throughout the construction, including almost 100 apprenticeships, and more than 1,350 people have been upskilled on the site.
Highlights included a Women in Construction course, which promotes opportunities for women in the construction industry across the UK, funded through the Home Builders Federation. Participants received advice and guidance, as well as training in various areas of construction, and two weeks’ work experience.
Lendlease also worked with Solihull College to deliver English for Construction courses for people who have English as a second language, a key tool for increasing safety through better communication on a site which at its peak had 26 different nationalities of workers on the project. Participants who completed the course were rewarded with a Level 1 Health and Safety in Construction qualification.
Over the course of the £326m contract, £267m has been spent by Lendlease with local businesses, and workers have devoted 2,679 hours to volunteering in the local area – the equivalent of four months of continuous work, and nearly three times the target they were set. This included working with Eden Boys School and Welford Primary School to build and maintain outdoor learning areas, as well as collecting for local food banks.
Designs created by students from Birmingham Metropolitan College were exhibited on site hoardings visible near the site to raise awareness of Single Use Plastics (SUP). This was inspired by the SUP Ambassadors programme, a project developed with students from Eden Boys’ School, that aimed to raise awareness of SUP and its impact on the environment, people and wildlife.
Lendlease, together with construction partners, also sponsored the production of a new book aimed at educating primary school children on avoiding single use plastics, which was launched at Calshot Primary School, and was distributed to primary schools across Birmingham.
The new homes at Perry Barr consist of a mix of homes for rent and sale, surrounded by accessible green space. The tallest building on the scheme tops out at fifteen storeys and the first residents are expected to move in later this year. The scheme is part of a wider £700million-plus regeneration of Perry Barr in the north-west of the city, including improved leisure and community facilities along with upgraded transport infrastructure, all of which is underpinned by the Perry Barr 2040 Masterplan, developed by the Council in partnership with local residents and stakeholders.
Lendlease are the Management Contractor for this first phase of the Perry Barr Residential Scheme, working with Kier, Willmott Dixon, PJ Careys and Vinci UK to deliver the project.
Anna Evans, Project director for the Perry Barr Residential Scheme, Lendlease said: “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved at the end of this project. Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the team responded quickly to adapt to new ways of working and tirelessly devoted themselves to completing the project. Not only that, everybody went above and beyond to truly create a lasting legacy for Perry Barr, with new jobs, skills and sustainability initiatives. I want to thank everybody involved for their hard work and I look forward to seeing the first residents moving in and enjoying this vibrant new neighbourhood.”
Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, said: "Perry Barr is being transformed and the completion of these much-needed homes is another major milestone in the ongoing regeneration of an area that has long been deserving of investment.
"We're determined that neighbourhoods across the city will reap the rewards of this golden decade of opportunity, and with major improvements to transport infrastructure, the redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium into a world-class sporting facility and the Perry Barr 2040 Masterplan, it's clear that north west Birmingham is already benefitting.