Construction of No.1 Birmingham Health Innovation Campus (BHIC) in Selly Oak is underway, marking a major milestone for the region’s rapidly growing life sciences sector.
The development of No.1 BHIC forms the first phase of a ten year masterplan for the Campus being developed by Bruntwood SciTech in partnership with the University of Birmingham.
Due to complete in September 2023, No.1 BHIC will provide 133,000 sq ft of specialist office and lab space for innovative life science and digital healthcare companies, in response to increasing demand for space from the sector. It will also house the University of Birmingham’s Precision Health Technologies Accelerator and Birmingham Precision Medicine Centre and provide access to a range of amenities including event space, cafe, car parking and EV charging facilities.
BHIC is a designated Life Science Opportunity Zone and has also been identified by the Department for International Trade as a High Potential Opportunity for Data Driven Healthcare. Sitting at the heart of a critical cluster of health excellence with unparalleled links to University of Birmingham Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, the Campus will be closely aligned to the University of Birmingham clinical trials facility offering companies located at No.1 BHIC access to a fully connected clinical trials translation ecosystem.
When complete the Campus will provide up to 657,000 sq ft of new commercial lab and office space and is expected to catalyse the growth of the region’s life science sector, creating up to 10,000 local jobs and contributing £400m GVA to the region’s economy.
John Sisk and Son has been appointed as the main contractor for No.1 BHIC, supporting Bruntwood SciTech’s ongoing commitments to sustainability. Targeting BREEAM ‘Excellent’, No.1 BHIC will incorporate a number of design measures to reduce carbon emissions, help to mitigate the effects of climate change and protect and enhance the local environment.
Kath Mackay, Director of Life Sciences, Bruntwood SciTech said: “The West Midlands is already home to more than 17,000 jobs in the life sciences sector, supporting 600 companies. What draws these businesses in is the ability to leverage an end-to-end supply chain on their doorstep. This goes right from clinical trials, with the largest healthcare market outside of London alongside a leading cluster of clinical and academic institutions, to the manufacture and logistics of treatments, equipment and technology. Add to this an annual cohort of 11,000 medical sciences graduates and the busiest start-up scene outside of the capital, and the potential future growth the Birmingham Health and Innovation Campus can help to unlock is significant.”
Professor Tim Jones, Provost and Vice-Principal of the University of Birmingham, explained: “One of our core missions is to deliver ‘research that matters’ - achieving outcomes that can achieve lasting, transformative impact. By developing BHIC and establishing our Precision Health Technologies Accelerator, we will enable talented researchers and forward-thinking industry partners to be even more productive and successful, translating their ideas for new drugs, devices and diagnostics into validated innovations which can quickly be adopted in clinic. By creating a state-of-the-art environment for researchers and entrepreneurs to flourish, with a strong emphasis on knowledge sharing and collaboration, we will deliver life-changing benefits to patients and sustainable growth to our region and beyond."
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, commented: “By providing the best facilities within an already thriving life sciences and health technology cluster here in the West Midlands, BHIC will attract significant investment into our region, providing jobs and opportunities for all communities across the region. Not only that, but the work will also positively impact people’s health and wellbeing, something we know that’s critical to address following our Health of the Region report. It is fantastic to see work underway, and I want to congratulate the team on reaching this milestone.”
Commenting on the project, John Sisk and Son Managing Director for UK North, Alan Rodger said: “I am delighted that Bruntwood has selected Sisk to deliver this state-of-the-art campus, which will provide immeasurable benefits to patients, as well as injecting massive potential growth to Birmingham’s economy. The appointment demonstrates the strength of Sisk’s relationship with Bruntwood, having previously worked together on the Circle Square development in Manchester. Sisk has extensive experience in the Life Sciences sector, and I am proud that we will be bringing our dedicated division of specialists to this project.”
Planning permission for No.1 BHIC was granted in April 2021. Agents include Savills and CBRE. BHIC is already attracting significant new inward investment to the region. This includes significant investment of up to £14m from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) which will support the design and fit-out of the state-of-the-art Precision Health Technologies Accelerator facilities. No. 1 BHIC is due to complete in September 2023. The entire BHIC development is expected to be completed by 2031.
This article was first published on October 18 by University of Birmingham.