BCO in Paradise as Rob Groves takes reins

Lee Jones (front left), former chairman of the BCO in the Midlands and East Anglia, welcomes Rob Groves (front right) as new chairman, with members of the region’s committee.

Rob Groves, who is leading the £700 million transformation of a key site in Birmingham city centre, has been appointed chairman of the British Council for Offices’ (BCO) committee in the Midlands and East Anglia.

As the regional director of developer Argent, he is in charge of delivering the 1.8m sqft 11-year Paradise project which will include the first phase of two Grade A office buildings of 172,000 sq ft and 183,000 sq ft, as well as retail, restaurant and hotel space on the seven hectare site, previously known as Paradise Circus.

Rob has over 30 years of planning, design and construction experience. Prior to joining Argent in 2007 he was an equity partner at a large multi-disciplinary consulting engineer practice.

His experience includes mixed-use, commercial, residential,, industrial schemes as well as major public sector infrastructure and he has led schemes from feasibility through to planning, compulsory purchase, which includes expert witness work, detailed design and construction. The 51-year-old, from Warwickshire , takes over as chairman from Lee Jones, partner of Quantem Consulting llp.

Rob said: “I am very proud to have been appointed chairman of the British Council for Offices in the Midlands and East Anglia Our mission is to research, develop and communicate best practice in all aspects of the office sector and, in our case, with a particular focus on the Midlands, which includes some extremely active areas.

“Birmingham is a very important market outside London, but we also see a lot of activity in cities including Cambridge where the university and science sectors play a key role. These are undoubtedly exciting times for the office sector as many major new developments in our region get underway and the requirements of occupiers continue to evolve.

“Through our programme of well attended events our members will benefit from the research and best practice knowledge coordinated by the BCO.”

Established in 1990, the BCO is Britain’s leading forum for the discussion and debate of issues affecting the office sector.

Its members are all organisations involved in creating, acquiring or occupying office space, whether architects, lawyers, surveyors, financial institutions or public agencies.

The BCO works to advance the collective understanding of its members, enabling them to work together to create more effective office space.

The Paradise development is a joint venture with Birmingham City Council and Hermes Real Estate for a new commercial-led mixed use development of up to two -million sq ft. Occupiers already attracted to the development include professional services firm PwC which has agreed a 20-year lease on 90,000 sq ft of office space.

Phase one of the scheme includes the development of two new office buildings – One Chamberlain Square and Two Chamberlain Square – offering Grade A accommodation in two individually-designed, sustainable buildings located in a prime city centre location. Both buildings will overlook the refurbished and enhanced Chamberlain Square, surrounded by some of the UK’s finest Victorian civic buildings – including the Town Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and Council House.