The improvement works will transform links from New Street Station to Southside District and include a realignment of the pedestrian crossing over Smallbrook Queensway; improvements to pavements on Hurst Street and Ladywell Walk; and improvements to the cycleway on Hill Street.
A new public square outside Birmingham Hippodrome on Hurst Street will also be part of the scheme. Creating a distinctive and instantly identifiable space within the City’s public spaces, it will offer a flexible space for a wide variety of public events.
Improvements will also be made to street furniture and lighting, and more trees will be planted to make the area more welcoming and attractive.
Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Cllr Waseem Zaffar, said: “Providing safe and accessible walking and cycling routes will be key to achieving our clean air targets, and in turn creates a better environment for businesses, residents and visitors.
“I’m delighted that we are able to get this project underway and provide much-needed connectivity to Southside.”
Southside BID Manager Julia Robinson said: “Southside District is Birmingham’s beating cultural heart and we welcome the redevelopment of Hippodrome Square, which will create an inviting and engaging space for everyone to enjoy.
“Now more than ever, it’s so important for us to invest in outdoor spaces to enliven the city and bring visitors back to Birmingham. New street furniture, lighting and the introduction of more trees will transform the area, making it an attractive place for visitors old and new, and adding to the wide appeal of our vibrant district."
The scheme forms part of the Enterprise Zone Investment Plan (EZIP) and is a prominent infrastructure project as part of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Enterprise Zone.
Chair of GBSLEP, Tim Pile said: “This project will transform the Southside area into the new ‘front door’ of Birmingham’s City Centre and GBSLEP’s £8.7m investment is an important commitment to creating dynamic places for everyone to enjoy.
“As a LEP we work with our local authority partners, businesses and academic institutions to identify developments that will create jobs, increase social value and enhance the wellbeing of our residents.
“The new cycle routes and pathways will help people access different parts of the district and the new performance space will provide a focal point which in turn will attract further investment in the area. The Southside project reflects our mission to drive inclusive economic growth in our region for the benefit of everyone.”
The City Council has contributed £0.4m of capital investment to the project, with a further £0.4m from Southside District, Southside Building and Birmingham Hippodrome.
Construction and infrastructure specialist NMCN has been appointed to deliver the works, which are due to commence in April 2021 for 12 months.