MEBC Visits Bull Ring Regeneration 16/10/2002

Bull Ring Site Visit- report

MEBC has been taking a keen interest in the regeneration of the Bull Ring Centre, the shopping centre in the very heart of the City of Birmingham, the UK's second city. Though this interest has been driven by sustainable development concerns in the rebuild process, the sheer size of the project is one of the largest city centre developments in Europe - naturally attracts interest. MEBC was pleased therefore to accept an invitation from Waterman Environmental to see how the development is taking shape. Sarah Brandwood from Environmental Business Communications reports on the visit.

On Wednesday the 16th October eleven members of MEBC were able to take a birds eye view as well as an on the ground visit of the new 110, 000m2 Bull Ring development. On the 15th floor of the Rotunda the group examined the many well-scaled models and plans depicting the grand plans for the retail development that will transform this formally perceived deprived area of Birmingham city centre. From the artists impressions to actually viewing the progress was literally an eye opener to all who attended. Viewing across the city landscape it is easy to tell that the new Bull Ring site will be a landmark for the future of Birmingham. From these dizzy heights of the 15th floor, the group dressed in construction gear to walk round the site in progress. With concrete floors, still escalators and everyone in luminous jackets imagining busy Saturday shoppers going into Debenhams or Selfridges was a little unreal. However, the development is impressive to say the least with the architects portraying a street image, with glass covered walk ways to maximise the amount of natural light. With walk ways leading to New Street and other popular areas of Birmingham it is easy to tell that this development is literally built to attract.

Everyone who attended the site visit were amazed at the vision of the development and the obvious potential that it holds to the future of making Birmingham a truly remarkable second city. Selfridges alone will be stocking the entire London collection in its nine floor modern and innovatively designed building- something that not even the Trafford centre has matched! In less than a years time the construction site that has been an eyesore and an inconvenience for many over the past years will open to reveal a modern, carefully designed retail development that will revolutionise the image that Birmingham portrays. Perhaps MEBC members should take another site visit when it opens with credit cards in hand! If you missed the site visit take a virtual tour at http://www.bullring.co.uk.