Arden Cross Ltd has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with both University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) and the University of Warwick to explore opportunities for creating a new Medical & Technology Campus to deliver world-beating innovation in healthcare as part of the £3.2 billion Arden Cross development.
This crucial next step in bringing the Arden Cross masterplan to life provides a unique opportunity for the West Midlands to lead the way in digital healthcare while bringing together the public, private, and academic sectors to form a globally leading campus.
The new campus will be focused on creating better health and life outcomes for people by reducing the time to market for healthcare innovations, drawing private sector investment, and delivering the levelling-up agenda in the West Midlands.
Each MOU provides a framework for the stakeholders in Arden Cross to move forward with the delivery of the first phase of the mixed-use masterplan that will ultimately create up to 27,000 new jobs, 3,000 new homes and up to 6 million sq ft of new commercial and employment space in the very heart of the Midlands and the UK.
The first phase of the new campus could begin as early as 2024 and will see a range of facilities and employment opportunities through the health, knowledge and commerce sectors with both UHB and the University of Warwick leading the way in medical innovation.
UHB is the largest NHS Trust in England and runs four major general hospitals in the West Midlands as well as a number of regional specialist centres.
The University of Warwick is one of the world’s leading academic institutions, and the top university in the region with strengths in medical innovation and life sciences. Warwick is a powerful driver of inclusive economic growth and social value in the West Midlands and the UK, with a long and proud tradition of working closely with industry.
As a crucial new destination for the West Midlands and the nation, Arden Cross is at the crossroads of global trade between north and south, east and west. With its major international links and a local heritage based on the application of ideas, it will promote design principles based on innovation and entrepreneurship.
Birmingham and the region already has a strong record of being at the forefront of major innovations that have shaped the world we live in today, and the new Medical & Technology Campus will help drive that forward into the future.
The development opportunities across the site are being brought forward by Arden Cross Limited (ACL), a special purpose delivery vehicle created by landowners Birmingham City Council, Packington Estate and Coleshill Estate.
Wider partners in the development also include HS2, Department for Transport, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the Urban Growth Company who are working together to fulfil a range of shared priorities.
At the centre of Arden Cross is the new HS2 Interchange station, providing fast connections across the country, including direct links to central London in just 38 minutes.
The Arden Cross masterplan builds upon this exceptional connectivity at the very heart of the country, with its co-location alongside the NEC campus, Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International station.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: ‘With more than £800 million of investment already committed to the Arden Cross site, there is a great deal of local, national and international interest in how we might best unlock the huge potential of this scheme given its unrivalled global connectivity thanks to its superb location in close proximity to the existing airport and train station as well as the forthcoming HS2 Interchange.
‘We are making good progress on shaping the Arden Cross vision and one of the elements that will make it a world class project is the health and innovation uses we have in mind for the site. Building upon our existing strengths, a MedTech Centre of Excellence in this key location has the power to drive the UK’s digital health agenda, bolster the West Midlands economy and revolutionise healthcare for the better. As we work together to bring Arden Cross to life, this landmark project is a prime example of Levelling Up in action – bringing tangible benefits to local residents.’
Professor Dave Rosser, UHB Chef Executive, said: ‘The unique opportunities presented by Arden Cross could support us to achieve our vision to deliver healthcare in a new and transformational way. This vision focuses on being able to offer the best access, treatment and experience for all of our patients, as well as the opportunity to help address the stark inequalities we see across our area, that have been further compounded by the pandemic.’
Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor & President at the University of Warwick, said: ‘Arden Cross represents an opportunity for the West Midlands, and the UK, to take the global lead in delivering the next frontier of healthcare. The University of Warwick will bring world-beating research and innovation and our experience of leveraging private sector funding and engagement to deliver our vision. Our goal is to create a thriving and energetic hub where public, private, and academic excellence can meet the challenges ahead of us.’
Ben Gray, Project Director with Arden Cross Ltd, said: ‘Arden Cross is focused on delivering sustainable growth for the region and the whole of the UK. A Medical and Technology Campus centred around our two world class partners could deliver a purpose-built ecosystem focused on health, knowledge and commerce that creates a dynamic cluster of organisations in a unique public-private partnership that leverages the superb connectivity of Arden Cross and has a real impact on people across the region and further afield.’
Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, said: ‘Health technology is a burgeoning area for research and development, so it is great news that Arden Cross has signed a MOU with two of our top regional health and academic institutions to explore the potential of this world class development opportunity in Solihull. Many of our unique advantages as a borough are on display at Arden Cross: location and connectivity, alongside the council’s determination to strive for utmost sustainability and a commitment to a zero carbon future. The MOU represents the desire for public and private partners to work together to deliver transformational change in healthcare and research maximising the economic and employment benefits of the Arden Cross development.’
Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: ‘As a key landowner and partner in Arden Cross, we are keen to see the site come to life in a way that supports our aspirations for regenerating East Birmingham and bringing more jobs, skills and growth to the city and region. Like the airport, NEC campus and Birmingham Business Park, Arden Cross will be another key driver for the local economy and will help create a world class destination for business, leisure and learning. It is a significant, strategic and national answer to some of the major challenges of our time around the climate emergency and sustainability. Above all, the development is ready to move forward to help provide answers to these challenges.’
Centrally located and globally connected, Arden Cross is on its way to becoming an international destination providing a world class environment for working, living, learning and leisure. It is also a nationally significant location for commerce, innovation and jobs with large amounts of green space for sustainable living, spread across more than 140 hectares (346 acres).