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Homes England has announced an MoU agreement with development firm Digbeth Loc Limited and their partners to help bring the MasterChef studios to its Warwick Bar site in central Birmingham.

The announcement comes as part of Homes England’s commitment to the Levelling Up agenda and marks a significant milestone in the regeneration of Warwick Bar.

Homes England has assembled Warwick Bar – a collection of derelict and brownfield sites around Digbeth – over recent years to help catalyse the wider regeneration of Digbeth. This announcement will see the agency lease part of their land, at Fazeley Street, Warwick Bar to Digbeth Loc Limited, who will develop proposals for a mixed-used scheme, starting with a state-of-the-art film studio to house the production of BBC’s MasterChef.

The agreement supports Birmingham City Council’s vision for the area, which sets out a spatial vision and strategy for the sustainable growth of the city, and identifies Digbeth as a new urban village centred on creative industries, leisure and residential-led mixed use development.

The development of the new studios will bring a major TV production out of London to the heart of the West Midlands and Birmingham, creating unparalleled new opportunities, jobs and investment, and kickstarting a new creative heart for the city, setting the stage for others in the industry to follow suit.

Mike Palin, Interim Executive Director, Markets, Partners & Places at Homes England commented, “The regeneration of Warwick Bar will have a transformational impact on central Birmingham and the wider economy. Not only will it create jobs in the area, it will stimulate the development of a creative hub for the city, delivering on Birmingham City Council’s aspirations and the Levelling Up agenda. The relocation of such a major production operation from London to the city is just the first example of that.

“This agreement is testament to the importance of partnership working in place-making. We have the expertise, the influence, and the appetite to support and empower local leadership to meet their ambitions and transform derelict urban sites into beautiful communities.”

The agreement to bring MasterChef to Birmingham comes just weeks after the Government announced that Homes England remit will be extended, with a renewed focus on the regeneration of towns and cities, as part of its Levelling Up Whitepaper.

The regeneration of the wider Warwick Bar site has the opportunity to deliver around 1,000 new homes, and 25,000sq m of employment / educational floor space.

Homes England will continue to work closely with its public and private sector partners to transform the area into a thriving neighbourhood and a commercial hub for the city’s growing creative sector, building on Digbeth’s industrial heritage and the forthcoming connections to HS2.

Image: Aaron Lim / Shutterstock.com

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