Bruntwood agrees to buy major tech and digital campus
Property company Bruntwood has agreed to acquire digital and technology campus Innovation Birmingham, a deal which has been hailed as a major boost for the city’s tech sector.
Bruntwood said the purchase will help the city’s digital economy flourish as it works closely with key stakeholders to drive forward growth of the campus.
The deal was recommended by Birmingham City Council.
Located in the heart of Birmingham city centre, Innovation Birmingham has supported more than 260 businesses since 2009, creating over 500 jobs and raising approximately £18m in equity finance.
The campus currently consists of three buildings: iCentrum, Universities Centre and Faraday Wharf.
“Our upcoming acquisition of Innovation Birmingham forms a key strategic component of our wider science and technology business and enables us to share knowledge and expertise across these sectors,” said Bruntwood CEO Chris Oglesby.
Bruntwood currently has £150m invested in Birmingham and has operated in the city for almost 20 years. Its portfolio of science and tech assets also includes Alderley Park in Cheshire, Manchester Science Partnerships and brand new tech incubators in Manchester and Leeds.
Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This potential investment in Innovation Birmingham is crucial for the continuing success of the region’s tech and digital businesses.
“I am confident that, when finalised, it will generate huge benefits for the city’s thriving and diverse digital sector, helping to create hundreds of jobs, build businesses and drive growth in the city region as innovative tech firms are given relevant support to realise their growth potential.”
Further growth at Innovation Birmingham is also planned through developing links with other science parks, nationally and internationally, through the Science Park Without Walls concept, which Innovation Birmingham launched in 2010.
Dr David Hardman, CEO of Innovation Birmingham, said: “Innovation Birmingham has moved a long way in the last nine years but we have reached a point where we need to scale. We have three buildings, these buildings are full, we have more than 140 businesses, we have a thriving community of people who visit here, but if we are really going to make a difference to the Birmingham economy we have to scale and to do that we need external investment.
“What we are trying to do is create something here that remains a focal point so it has to go beyond being something about property. Property is important but what is more important in a digital community is the innovators, the entrepreneurs that sit in these buildings and drive the local economy.”
Advisors on the deal for Birmingham City Council are KPMG and Gowling WLG, with Addleshaw Goddard acting for Bruntwood.
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