Made in the Midlands Patron, Birmingham City University has revealed plans for a £60m investment into its business facilities.
The scheme, the next phase of the university’s STEAMhouse project, will see Birmingham’s derelict Belmont Works, originally built in 1899, restored to its former glory as part of a major overhaul.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has provided £14m of funding, with £1m of Local Growth Funding from Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.
It is anticipated STEAMhouse will help create up to 10,000 jobs across the West Midlands region and help support the growth of the Midlands Engine.
The Grade A-listed building on Cardigan Street has stood derelict since being gutted by a fire in 2007 but will now be transformed to become STEAMhouse’s permanent home. This will provide additional facilities and spaces for SMEs, as well as a new home for the University’s School of Computing, transforming the student experience for computing and digital technology students.
The Victorian Belmont Works factory served as the headquarters for the historic Eccles Rubber and Cycle Company and has since been used to produce linen clothing, bedsteads and pianos.
Work will see the building receive an extension to its rear façade to provide upgrades and new spaces, but the building will also retain many of its original features.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “The STEAMhouse project is a fantastic example of how government investment is creating new jobs and boosting growth across the West Midlands.
As the new Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine, I’m committed to improving opportunities across the region and this £15m of government funding will bring together businesses with the arts, science and academia under one roof to drive forward economic growth.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “STEAMhouse is a brilliant example of our Local Industrial Strategy in action, bringing together creative innovators from different sectors, and creating the leaders of the future right here in the West Midlands.
“Birmingham City University is a global leader in these fields, and the next phase of STEAMhouse will provide further facilities to expand this vital work.”
Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, said: “I am delighted to unveil our plans to develop STEAMhouse Phase Two and transform the historic Belmont Works building. STEAMhouse Phase Two will provide space for talented and innovative people from across academia, business and civic society to come together and develop ideas and products that change the world.
“This marks the continuation of the University’s commitment to the regeneration of the Eastside district of the Birmingham. I am particularly pleased that we have the backing of Government for a project that supports economic growth in the West Midlands.”