New ‘Knowledge Quarter’ to be created in Birmingham - where & what is it?

The Knowledge Quarter will be a fast-growing part of Birmingham’s city centre, housing small, medium, and large technology businesses, universities, colleges, hotels, and two conference centres
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

It’s a move that will “turbo-charge” Birmingham and the wider West Midlands as the UK government announced £160m-worth of investment aimed at creating more than 30,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector.

The 10-year vow will, according to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, help drive £5.5bn of growth across Birmingham, Coventry, Warwick and Wolverhampton. In Birmingham, a new ‘Knowledge Quarter’ will be created that will include teaching facilities, offices, accommodation, and hospitality venues across a huge area surrounding Aston University.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The sprawling new district will run north-east of the city centre through Aston University, Duddeston, Nechells and Aston.

Property developer Bruntwood SciTech will pump a further £40m into the project. Chris Oglesby, executive chair of Bruntwood SciTech, said: “The Birmingham Knowledge Quarter masterplan will create a leading innovation cluster centred on science, technology and enterprise.

“We have committed £1bn to invest in the West Midlands over the next decade, and as part of that Birmingham Knowledge Quarter has the potential to be a world-class hub for research and development.”

Councillor Sharon Thompson, Deputy Leader of Birmingham city council, added: “The Birmingham Knowledge Quarter is a big deal for our area. This zone, from Aston University through Duddeston to Aston railway station, is a hotbed for new tech, research and education. 

Birmingham Innovation Quarter CGI new tech hub at Aston University. Source: Bruntwood SciTech. Birmingham Innovation Quarter CGI new tech hub at Aston University. Source: Bruntwood SciTech.
Birmingham Innovation Quarter CGI new tech hub at Aston University. Source: Bruntwood SciTech.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“This will create more jobs, drive new ideas, and grow our economy sustainably. The Birmingham Knowledge Quarter is our vision for a lively, forward-looking, and competitive West Midlands, however this region has been underfunded for over a decade and I will keep campaigning to change that.”

As for the region’s mayor, Andy Street beamed: “This will turbo-charge the prospects of some of our key areas of strength including tech, advanced manufacturing, and green industries. Working alongside the outstanding research capabilities of our world-leading universities, this investment zone will enhance our ability to attract global companies to our region.

“The Chancellor’s decision to empower the West Midlands with a single funding settlement heralds a pivotal moment for our region. It will end the need for competitive bidding into government to fund our transport, housing, skills, and investment projects and put us on par with government departments and devolved parts of the UK.”

The Investment Zone itself will be powered through three specific sites:

  • Birmingham Knowledge Quarter – running northeast from Aston University through Duddeston and Nechells to Aston
  • Coventry-Warwick Gigapark – anchored by a new battery gigafactory and associated businesses and technologies
  • Wolverhampton Green Innovation Corridor – creating new green industries and skills through a partnership between the city council and university.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.