Birmingham Heartlands

Inner City Redevelopment


Birmingham Heartlands was redeveloped during the 1990s using a combination of public and private funding (total expenditure of about 300 million, 100m from the UK Government and 200m from private investments and EU grants).  This funding was used by the Birmingham Heartlands Development Corporation (similar to the London Docklands Development Corporation that you may have studied at GCSE) to reclaim contaminated land, provide infrastructure, and encourage investment from external organisations.  The area for development was 9.5 square kilometres of derelict land to the NE of the city centre comprising run down industry and poor quality housing.  The area covers land adjacent to, and south of the M6 motorway in the industrial zone of the city.  It created over 4600 new jobs.

The three parts of this case-study that you have focussed on are:-

  • Aston Science Park and Aston Waterlinks
  • Bordesley Green Urban Village
  • Star City and the Fort Retail Park


Aston Science Park is a neighbour to both Aston University and  BCU.  It offers employment in high-tech industries, electronics, medical supplies and research and development (quaternary industries).  These employment opportunities (about 1000 jobs) were not always available to the inner-city population who needed them due to a lack of appropriate skills.

In Bordesley Village run-down terraced housing was replaced with suburban homes (semi-detached and detached housing with gardens and driveways).  This lowered the population density of the area, providing only 1000 new homes and although the environmental quality has been improved, the shortfall in housing was not met.

The Fort Retail Park provides an out-of-town shopping experience in the heart of the city.  There is free parking, and a broad range of high street stores.  The service sector employment offered here did not suit the skills of the local population at the time of its development.  It is easily accessible via the M6 and the Birmingham spine road (A47) and

Star City is a leisure and entertainment complex that was developed on the site of the decommissioned Nechells Power Station.  There are a range of activities from a cinema and casino to restaurants and 5-a-side football.  There is a large free car park.  Although the development is relatively successful, it has not lived up to its expectations for employment opportunities and cost at least 6.8 million to develop.