Prefabricated buildings in a factory

Investment package to progress central Birmingham housing scheme

An innovative housing scheme in central Birmingham is progressing to the next phase, after the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) confirmed a multi-million pound investment package.

The newest funding commitment will trigger detailed negotiations with the developers to transform another six acres of derelict, brownfield site at Port Loop, with a further 133 factory-built modular homes.

The Port Loop development, once complete, will see 43 acres of derelict industrial land transformed into a new 1,150-home waterside district featuring two, three and four bedroom houses, apartments, public and communal green spaces, and new canal-side spaces for walking and cycling.

The new neighbourhood has been planned with the environment in mind and has already received plaudits for its use of advanced manufacturing in construction (AMC) techniques. This sees low carbon, energy efficient homes built in a Midlands factory before being transported and assembled on site.

The Port Loop investment is the latest from the WMCA’s nationally acclaimed devolved housing and regeneration programme – providing new homes, jobs and commercial floorspace while supporting the West Midlands’ economic recovery from the Covid pandemic and its #WM2041 ambition to be a net zero carbon region within the next 20 years.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the WMCA, said: “Port Loop is a great example of how the West Midlands is leading the way nationally in bringing derelict former industrial land back into use for homes and jobs.

“By building affordable, low carbon homes, on sites like this not only are we helping to protect the Green Belt while creating new jobs and communities, but we’re also helping to tackle the region’s climate emergency as part of our #WM2041 plans.

“As the home of the green industrial revolution we are driving forward modern ways of building to make homes more sustainable and affordable and support the new low carbon industries that will help create the well-paid jobs of the future.”

The use of AMC techniques has been identified by the WMCA as critical to building more homes on former industrial brownfield sites around the region, affordably and in a faster timeframe than traditional methods.

Bolstering the region’s housing stock is seen as a key part of the West Midlands’ Covid recovery strategy.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, added: "We're delivering affordable green homes for Birmingham's growing population and Port Loop is a fantastic example of partnership working and innovation. This scheme has already won lots of well-deserved praise and this next exciting phase continues the development of a unique new neighbourhood."

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