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Right, we have a new thread and a new leader, so what better to kick this thing off with some very very insightful articles from EGi

Sir Albert Bore: Back to the future

By Lisa Pilkington | 30-06-2012 | 07:00 | Print

After an eight-year hiatus, Sir Albert Bore is back as leader of the UK's largest local authority. In his first interview since the May elections, Bore shares his priorities for Birmingham with Lisa Pilkington Portraits by Ed Shaw Sir Albert Bore looks completely at home in his spacious Council House office. With piles of papers neatly stacked on a long boardroom table, the newly elected Labour leader of Birmingham city council is bursting with enthusiasm to crack on with the job.

It is fair to say voters' decision to oust the previous Tory/Lib Dem administration in May's elections was no surprise. Birmingham is traditionally a Labour heartland and Bore has been putting the final touches to his post-victory strategy.

This is a return to power for the married father of three who previously led the council from 1999-2004. A large protest vote against the Iraq war in June 2004 left Bore's Labour administration with no overall majority. Fast forward to 2012 and a landslide victory at the polls has returned him to office.

"It feels great to be back," says the 66-year-old. "There's almost a sense of having unfinished business to deal with."

The former lecturer is widely regarded as overseeing the renaissance of Birmingham and being intrinsically linked with landmark projects such as the Bullring, the Mailbox, the National Indoor Arena (NIA) and the redevelopment of Brindleyplace. Perhaps most famously, Bore was instrumental in removing the city's "concrete collar", which paved the way for 2,000 acres of the city centre to be re-masterplanned.

This time around, Bore's buzzword is "inclusivity". He says he and the Labour administration want to work in a more open and transparent way. "We want to see an inclusive city in which many more people can play a part. I want a strategy for Birmingham that is compelling, innovative and far-sighted."

And property is a core component of that strategy. So much so that Bore has already met a number of developers to discuss key projects, such as Paradise Circus, Eastside, Arena Central and Icknield Port Loop.

He is looking for feedback from the property sector and says: "I want developers and property guys to help draw up key agendas for Birmingham. I'm not going to be just reactive. I think it's absolutely necessary to create a one-stop-shop for developers, for example a liaison person for the big projects. We need this to appeal to developers and I'm not sure we're there yet. We want to make it easier and more welcoming for developers and investors to come to Birmingham. If we don't get it right, I hope someone will come and tell me."

Open invitations don't come much clearer than that. But potential development partners take note: Bore is a tough negotiator. He has a clear vision for the city and is known as a shrewd dealmaker at a political level.

Getting on the right side of him could have its advantages, particularly as property is at the heart of his new initiative to create a number of economic growth zones around Birmingham. The first phase is a proposed 50-acre advanced manufacturing hub on what is currently the Aston Regional Investment site located close to the M6 at Spaghetti Junction. Firms from the automotive sector will be targeted. Although the council owns most of the land, CPOs will be needed to bring the rest of the site together. Savills is advising the council.

Other clusters include: an environmental enterprise in Tyseley; a medical technology/life sciences campus around the Queen Elizabeth Hospital/Birmingham University site at Selly Oak; a Media City-inspired ITEC park with large floorplates to attract media firms at Longbridge; and a major development site at Washwood Heath - regarded as Birmingham's best logistics location (see HS2 feature, p77).

Commercial city centre priorities are the big-ticket developments outlined in Birmingham's Big City Plan, a legacy document from the previous administration. "We need hero projects," says Bore. "Paradise Circus is hugely important."

The 1.5m sq ft mixed-use scheme is arguably the council's main development priority. The project sees Birmingham council in partnership with Argent Developments/Altitude to deliver a new civic and office quarter of up to 12 new buildings next to the Council House and Victoria Square.

Argent and development partner Altitude will submit an outline planning application this summer and Bore says: "Argent wants to move quickly. We are close to putting in place a development proposal for Paradise Circus that will also lever in Miller Developments' and Bridgehouse Capital's neighbouring Arena Central development."

Looking to the future, Bore says: "In five to 10 years' time, we want to have brought forward elements of Paradise Circus and Arena Central.

"We've got Eastside to develop, the Wholesale Markets to sort out and there is still a phase of Snow Hill to build. There is more than enough to keep us busy."

CV: Sir Albert Bore

• 1946 Born in Ayrshire, Scotland

• 1969 Studied nuclear and reactor physics at Birmingham University

• 1974-1999 Lecturer at the University of Aston, Birmingham

• 1980-present Councillor for Birmingham Ladywood

• 1986 Formed the Eurocities network between Birmingham, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Milan, Lyon and Rotterdam

• 1994-present Member of the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR)

• 1999-2004 Leader of Birmingham city council

• 1999-2004 Board member of West Midlands RDA

• 2002 Awarded a knighthood for services to local government

• 2006-present Chairman of University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

• May 2012 Labour regains control of Birmingham. Bore becomes leader of Birmingham city council again

• Lifestyle Married with three children

Bore on...

LEPs/enterprise zones/TIFs
"We are fully supportive of Birmingham and Solihull LEP trying to bring forward enterprise zones in the city centre. This will create an £800m capital pot to use for investment in Birmingham and wider districts. I sit on the LEP board, so will have the opportunity to shape things. David Cameron wants growth and I need capital to drive investment. We need to accelerate this process. I am taking a delegation to meet Cameron in London in July."

Elected mayors
"I have mixed feelings about Birmingham voting 'no' in May's referendum. I have been in favour of elected mayors for 12 years and I am disappointed the city didn't vote 'yes'. But the 'no' vote has opened up a wider, longer opportunity for me as council leader."

City Deal Initiative/Metro
"Birmingham's City Deal Initiative may well form part of my discussions with David Cameron, as will a possible extension to the city centre's Metro tram line from New Street, past Arena Central and on to the airport and the NEC."


Wholesale markets
"I don't think the prospect of rebuilding the wholesale markets on its current site is viable, but there are some feasibility studies being completed to determine this. My feeling is that in the end we will have to relocate the wholesale markets and we will need to do so within the next five years. It's not an easy project but we need an early conclusion as to the site's future."

Icknield Port Loop
"This is one of the best opportunities for imaginative residential development this council has for future housing. LandProp, IKEA's property development arm, has been coy about its plans. But I have said there may be some adjustments needed."

Selly Oak/Battery Park
"I think Land Securities is looking for too much retail at Battery Park [430,500 sq ft]. The Selly Oak area needs more and I know Sainsbury's is desperate to get a new store there. I support that, but how much retail should be there beyond that is debatable. Land Securities' plans have serious implications for Longbridge, the city centre and nearby villages."

Manchester/Europe
"Manchester is sometimes a competitor of ours, but it is not the enemy. We are talking to Manchester about how we can share agendas. There is no reason why the cities can't work together."
 

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Bore excites with Brum growth plan

By Lisa Pilkington | 02-07-2012 | 12:00 | Print

Birmingham's new council leader Sir Albert Bore is to create eight new economic growth zones in the city.

Bore, who has returned for a second stint at the council after more than eight years, said he wanted to create "an entrepreneurial city by developing new economic growth zones to support inward investment, medium enterprises and value-added businesses using and promoting the cluster model".

He added: "We want to make it easier and more welcoming for developers and investors to come to Birmingham."

The eight zones will focus on several sectors, including logistics, medical technology, IT and media and the environment (see map).

The clusters will not be formally launched until September, but behind the scenes work on the first zone has already begun.

The £97m Advanced Manufacturing Hub, a 50-acre site close to the M6 at Spaghetti Junction, has potential for more than 1m sq ft of industrial and distribution space.

The public sector has already invested £14m buying land at the site - the council owns 11 acres, with the Homes & Communities Agency holding a further 20 acres.

Private sector investment in the project is expected to total up to £80m.

Waheed Nazir, the council's director of planning and regeneration, said development at the hub would be supported by a simplified planning system, with a local development order put in place by March 2013.

"We want to remove all restrictions to promote growth and send a very strong message to occupiers," he said.

Savills is advising the council on the plan.

See also: Sir Alfred Bore - back to the future

• Birmingham’s new economic growth zones

 

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It's Sting. So What?
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^^I've just come to expect it nowadays...

What the smeg is a 'women's enterprise hub'?
 

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A place where ladies can knit out of the way where they don't have to worry their pretty little heads about proper work.

Or, "positive discrimination" gone mad.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
does anyone else not think that the "food hub" is likely to be a relocated wholesale makets?
 

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^^

Taken from an article I posted earlier in the month on the Harbourne Clock Tower thread..

Would make sense,
The glut of new investment came as Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore announced a new food zone in the east of the city bringing together businesses from across the sector as part of his first major policy announcement since regaining power with Labour last month.

A business park will be set up for a cluster of firms in the food distribution and processing line where the firms will share a number of key facilities and good links to the motorway network. They will benefit from economic growth zone status
http://www.birminghampost.net/birmingham-business/birmingham-business-news/other-uk-business/2012/06/14/new-food-zone-to-dine-out-on-blossoming-culinary-reputation-65233-31184460/#ixzz1xmt077wg


The womens hub is to be textiles, aimed at the Asian areas of Birmingham
 

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Israeli insurance company buys Colmore Row offices for £32.2m
by Cillian OBrien, Birmingham Post Jul 3 2012

An Israeli insurance and financial services company has bought 115 Colmore Row for £32.2 million.

Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings, listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Echange, has a portfolio of properties with 76 per cent in Israel and the rest in London.

The 80,000 sq ft Colmore Row property near Victoria Square is rented to law firm Eversheds LLP in a lease with 11 years left to run, with no early exit clause.

The net operating return on the building is £2.2 million a year, for a gross annual return on investment of seven per cent.

Clal Insurance said the current rent reflects a price of £25.20 per sq ft per year, but that the property has improvement potential, as prevailing rents in the area are £28.50 per sq ft per year.

Amir Schostak from Clal Insurance real estate operations said that the purchase improves the company’s foreign property portfolio, with the goal of diversifying the company’s assets.

Clal Insurance posted net earnings attributable to equity-holders for the first nine months of 2011 of around £16 million, compared with earnings of around £70 million for the same period in 2010.

The loss after tax in the third quarter was around £32 million, compared with around £29 million the year before.

Clal Insurance is a subsidiary of IDB Holding Corp, chaired by one of Israel’s richest men Nochi Dankner.
Read More http://www.birminghampost.net/birmingham-business/birmingham-business-news/businesslatest/2012/07/03/israeli-insurance-company-buys-colmore-row-offices-for-32-2m-65233-31305389/#ixzz1zaIK9mu0
 

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A place where ladies can knit out of the way where they don't have to worry their pretty little heads about proper work.

Or, "positive discrimination" gone mad.

Oh shock horror, a sexist comment on a website mostly inhabited by men.

Christ almighty, has the world not changed in the past 40 years?
 

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Oh shock horror, a sexist comment on a website mostly inhabited by men.

Christ almighty, has the world not changed in the past 40 years?
I am a sarcastic girlperson, just not very good at the sarcasm.

I find it incredibly lame for a city to designate areas as places for women-only to work, especially laughably in textiles. If they'd called them "black-only enterprise zones" would there not be similar outcry?

I'm all for a textile enterprise zone, sure. But to suggest such a thing is a woman's trade is sexist and unfair to the men who work in such industries, and insulting to women who actually want to be entrepreneurs "with the men" in the world. I'm really angry with Birmingham council for that even if it does unfortunately come from a misplaced sense of "doing something good".
 

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cockney sparrow
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I am a sarcastic girlperson, just not very good at the sarcasm.

I find it incredibly lame for a city to designate areas as places for women-only to work, especially laughably in textiles. If they'd called them "black-only enterprise zones" would there not be similar outcry?

I'm all for a textile enterprise zone, sure. But to suggest such a thing is a woman's trade is sexist and unfair to the men who work in such industries, and insulting to women who actually want to be entrepreneurs "with the men" in the world. I'm really angry with Birmingham council for that even if it does unfortunately come from a misplaced sense of "doing something good".
It is lame that 40 years after women's liberation began en masse, women still tend to be paid less than men, face discrimination in the workplace because of their ability to give birth and tend to hit a ceiling in their careers much earlier than men.

It's lame that unemployment amongst Black and Asian communities tends to be higher than average and even higher for the women in those communities.

What's not lame is trying to do something about it.

It isn't called a "women's only enterpise zone", it's a Women's Enterprise Hub, that doesn't mean NO MEN. In the same way that a community having a Black and Afro-Caribbean Social Club doesn't mean NO WHITES, it means it has an agenda that it is happy to advertise. It is aimed at certain people, that doesn't mean it excludes others.

Do you think that in the 'Food Hub', all the jobs created will be directly related to food? Or do you think there will be admin staff too or human resources staff? In which case, WHY IS IT CALLED A FOOD HUB?!? Because that is its primary objective.

The primary objective of a women's hub is to advance the interests of women using an available industry, which happens to be textiles, it is not a value judgement saying: WOMEN SHOULD ONLY WORK IN TEXTILES, MEN SHOULD **** OFF, it is an attempt to address a problem by using limited resources. Nobody is saying women shouldn't work in other industries, nobody is saying men can't work in textiles, it just happens to be the industry they are using to try and advance the interests of women.

I'd rather everything change and society start respecting the role women play than use an 'enterprise hub' of all things, but that doesn't happen because national government is made up mostly of men who don't really care about women's issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
indeed they have, but the HS2 article which hasnt been posted is well worth a read!
 

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Having Just spent 2 days in London, visiting Canary Wharf and seeing first hand just how much money there is the both there and across the Capital as a whole. I've become very aware of just how important HS2 is going to be.

London is where the Money is, HS2 will bring it to Birmingham by the Billion. The whole city will hit a Boom on a scale we won't be able to comprehend if its pulled off correctly.

The need for either an Underground system or a vastly expanded Metro system is also apparent, you just can't get around Birmingham with the ease you can down there.
 

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Sir Albert Bore: Back to the future

By Lisa Pilkington | 30-06-2012 | 07:00 | Print


The former lecturer is widely regarded as overseeing the renaissance of Birmingham and being intrinsically linked with landmark projects such as the Bullring, the Mailbox, the National Indoor Arena (NIA) and the redevelopment of Brindleyplace. Perhaps most famously, Bore was instrumental in removing the city's "concrete collar", which paved the way for 2,000 acres of the city centre to be re-masterplanned.

."
Funny, i could have sworn there was someone called Sir Dick Knowles who did all that as well? I suppose it wouldn't be the first time history was re-written for political gain!
 

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Having Just spent 2 days in London, visiting Canary Wharf and seeing first hand just how much money there is the both there and across the Capital as a whole. I've become very aware of just how important HS2 is going to be.

London is where the Money is, HS2 will bring it to Birmingham by the Billion. The whole city will hit a Boom on a scale we won't be able to comprehend if its pulled off correctly.

The need for either an Underground system or a vastly expanded Metro system is also apparent, you just can't get around Birmingham with the ease you can down there.
~

Appears nothing for transport in Birmingham's City Deal, real shame as that's one of the areas that needs most attention. I hope the city gets these powers ASAP as I think a few of the other city deals include transport. Perhaps not working with the Black Country affected this:bash:
 
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