New apartment scheme in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter

New apartment scheme in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter

A new apartment scheme in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter has been given the green light by planners.

Award-winning developers Complex Development Projects (CDP) – which has been responsible for many cutting-edge projects across the West Midlands – has been granted consent to create 30 apartments in Carver Street.

The £7.8 million scheme, designed by D5 Architects of Birmingham, will feature a range of one, two and three bed apartments.

Ian Harrabin, a director of CDP, said he hoped work would start early next year and would take approximately 12 months.

He said: “We see this as a very valuable addition to the Jewellery Quarter, and offering something different.

“This part of the Quarter is currently undergoing substantial regeneration with several schemes underway, but there are not many offering the size of accommodation we are creating and it is important to have a mix in the area.

“The market is strong with a high level of local interest but there is also considerable activity from buyers and investors from outside the area who see the unique character of the Jewellery Quarter along with the potential, part of which is being fired by the arrival of HS2.”

CDP, which is based in Coventry and London, is the firm behind the FarGo Village creative quarter and the Electric Wharf live-work development in Coventry.

It also regenerated the historic Stuart Crystal Works in Stourbridge and is currently undertaking a £30 million development in Bristol.

Joel Kempsey Fagg, a partner at D5 and the project architect on Carver Street, said: “We are delighted with the approval and the complementary comments made by the councillors.

“The site is unusually complicated, with a number of issues to be overcome in design and construction, and we have – working in consultation with the City Planning and Heritage team – developed a scheme which will bring considerable aesthetic benefits and bring back to life a site which has been derelict for over a decade.”

Ambitious plans to regenerate the Old Town of Leamington Spa

Ambitious plans to regenerate the Old Town of Leamington Spa

Caption: Cllr Andrew Mobbs from Warwick District Council (left) with Brian Harrabin from Complex Development Projects

Ambitious plans to regenerate the Old Town of Leamington Spa as a new Creative Quarter focused on the booming creative/digital sector have taken a step forwards with the appointment of a development partner by Warwick District Council.

Regeneration specialist Complex Development Projects (CDP), which developed FarGo Village and Electric Wharf in Coventry, has been selected by the Council to work up and deliver a long-term masterplan for the area’s renaissance. The regeneration programme will include the restoration of several key buildings and public realm including the improvement of links from the railway station to the town centre.

The project will further enhance the town’s strengths as a centre of creative industries and its national ‘Silicon Spa’ reputation.

CDP, which has been appointed after an open procurement process, will work with the Council to develop a masterplan for the 10 year initiative, identifying how best to grow the diverse range of vibrant creative industries in the town largely around the under-developed riverside and Old Town area.

The Leader of Warwick District Council Councillor Andrew Mobbs said: “We are delighted with the appointment of CDP and are looking forward to working with them to develop this new hub for creative industries in Royal Leamington Spa.

“Warwick District is already home to a wide range of successful enterprises and we hope this new initiative offers an exciting proposition for even more vibrant and interesting businesses wanting to set up in the area.”

A recent report by the innovation foundation Nesta and Creative England identified Leamington as one of 47 “creative clusters” in the UK, and the only one in the West Midlands.

There are over 1,500 creative businesses in Leamington employing over 7,000 people with software and digital companies accounting for half of the total.

The games development industry is worth £1.7bn to the UK economy and the town has a range of games developers with many based in and around the vicinity of the new Creative Quarter.

Warwick District Council is hoping the regeneration programme will see the restoration of several key buildings – potentially The Royal Pump Rooms which are home to the Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, Leamington Public Library and the Regency Assembly Rooms.

The Council hopes to secure Government funding to support the regeneration of the area but acknowledged that attracting the right regeneration partner with experience of complex projects is the major first step in securing the success of the scheme.

Brian Harrabin, a director of CDP, said there is already a thriving creative and digital sector in Leamington but there remains considerable scope to build on its national and international reputation.

“The Old Town area needs major regeneration and the focus on creative industries will help to unlock the cultural and commercial potential of this area which is very much under-developed,” he said.

“The first thing we will be doing is talking to local businesses and the community to gain an in-depth understanding of what’s happening at the moment and what people’s aspirations are for the future. Creative areas are organic and are ultimately made by people, not buildings. But you need the right environment to allow them to thrive. Each place is unique and we will be doing a lot of listening before we come up with any proposals.

“We have a proven track record of working with communities to breathe new life into run-down areas of cities and towns and we will start consulting straight away with stakeholders to enable us to feed views and comments into the masterplan and identifying priority projects.

“There is definitely real potential for growth in Old Town, creating a quarter that is very different to Leamington’s current offer and bringing a positive impact to the local economy over the next decade.”

The plans form part of a wider regeneration programme for the whole of the northern part of Old Town, Spencer Yard and the Royal Pump Rooms with development focusing on the provision of facilities for the creative industries. The vision for the area also includes plans to improve the routes and environment from the railway station to the town centre.

2C Design Consultants has bought an 80sqm unit at Electric Wharf

2C Design Consultants has bought an 80sqm unit at Electric Wharf

Caption: Chris Hewitt from 2C Design Consultants (right) with Brian Harrabin from Complex Development Projects

A thriving design consultancy has moved to new offices at a creative mixed-use canalside development in Coventry and is looking to recruit more staff.

2C Design Consultants has bought an 80sqm unit at Electric Wharf in Radford which was created by award-winning developers Complex Development Projects.

Chris Hewitt launched the business, which provides the complete range of surveying and design services from concept to completion, from his garage in Radford Semele in 2004.

After building up the business for three years while working full-time, Chris took the plunge to concentrate on 2C Design Consultants full-time from an office in Puma Way, Coventry.

The decision paid-off with Chris and his team building an impressive portfolio of clients including Mitchells & Butlers, DFS, Marston’s Brewery, Hall & Woodhouse, Dwell and Hook Norton Brewery.

This significant period of growth has led to Chris re-locating his four-strong team to Electric Wharf – and he is hoping to add a senior designer, computer-aided design specialist and junior surveyor.

Chris said this was an exciting time for the business which was continuing to expand.

“When we first started, it coincided with the smoking ban and I knew pubs would want planning applications for their smoking shelters,” he said.

“We started with Young’s pub chain and Enterprise Inns and I thought we could do the whole package from planning applications to fit-outs and we have gradually grown relationships with our clients.

“We work with major clients all over the UK and our latest contract win is with The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury which is doubling their space to 400 seats in a £2 million project.

“It has taken a number of years but we have really established ourselves with companies such as Mitchells & Butlers and DFS because we can look after the whole design and surveying package including fit-outs.”

When the company wanted to move, Chris felt Electric Wharf was the ideal location for a design business.

“This is a new chapter in our history and this is the perfect opportunity to build on the success we have enjoyed in recent years,” he said.

“When I decided to buy our own premises, I wanted to stay in Coventry and I was immediately impressed with the setting of Electric Wharf and all the growth going on around here and from my point of view, it oozes creative and design flair.”

Brian Harrabin, of Complex Development Projects, said Electric Wharf continues to be a successful regeneration project in Coventry.

“We wanted to create the right environment for creative businesses as well as a place to live and work when we launched Electric Wharf,” he said.

“The scheme has won many plaudits and awards but It is always great to welcome a new businesss. 2C Design Consultants is an expanding company that fits-in with the ethos and culture of Electric Wharf and we wish them the best of luck in their new home.”

CDP’s Ian Harrabin honoured with MBE

CDP’s Ian Harrabin honoured with MBE

A regeneration specialist with a passion for heritage, who has brought neglected areas of the Midlands back to life, has been honoured in the New Year’s Honours list.

A regeneration specialist with a passion for heritage, who has brought neglected areas of the Midlands back to life, has been honoured in the New Year’s Honours list.

Ian Harrabin has been honoured with an MBE for services to Heritage and Regeneration in Coventry.

The 57-year-old Chartered Surveyor is managing director of Complex Development Projects (CDP), an award-winning family-owned company that specialises in urban regeneration by working in partnership with government, community groups and charities.

He is also Chairman of Historic Coventry Trust, the charity leading the revival of Coventry’s historic buildings, and a Trustee of City of Culture 2021.

Ian, a former pupil of King Henry VIII’s School, said: “The award is a recognition of efforts of the very many people from all walks of life that I have worked with over many years towards the aim of making Coventry a great place again.

“For the first time in my life, this is really within our grasp and it just shows that there are no limits to what we can achieve by working together. Everyone has their own individual talents and by combining together we have become a pretty unstoppable force for good.

“I wouldn’t have been able to achieve half of what I’ve done over the years without the never-ending support of my husband José, my assistant Kate and my family.

“We inspire and encourage each other and share the ups and downs. It is perhaps apt that the secret for Coventry’s brighter future has been for the city to pull together like a big family.”

CDP, which Ian runs jointly with his brother Brian from offices in Coventry and London, is renowned for tackling challenging sites delivering pioneering and innovative projects which breathe new life into urban centres.

The company’s partnership with Coventry City Council has recently regenerated the historic Far Gosford St area as the city’s creative quarter centred on Fargo Village, and has been a leading partner in the City of Culture bid.

CDP’s innovative reuse of the city’s 1896 power station, which was threatened with demolition, created Electric Wharf, a live/work creative village which won Outstanding Place of the Decade in 2010.

The company is also working on major projects in Birmingham, Smethwick, Stourbridge and Bristol while work starts shortly on a long-term partnership for the regeneration of Old Town Leamington Spa as a new quarter for digital and creative industries.

Acting personally, Ian joined with the local community in 2011 to found Historic Coventry Trust to save Coventry’s Charterhouse, a former Carthusian Monastery founded by Richard II in 1385.

The Charterhouse now forms the centrepiece of plans for a new 70 acre Heritage Park – a £15m project that will provide an exceptional landscape next to the city centre. The charity has grown in aspiration to become a ‘National Trust’ for Coventry with the aim of preserving all heritage at risk for future generations and bringing buildings back into productive economic, cultural and social use.

Delivery of the vision was recently boosted by a ground-breaking deal with Coventry City Council to transfer ownership of 27 historic buildings and sites to the Trust which is the largest ever in the UK. If the funding can be secured, this will kick-start a five-year restoration and regeneration programme in excess of £30m.

Caption: Ian Harrabin, who has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list (left) with his brother, Brian, and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, at FarGo Village, one of his ground breaking developments.
has been honoured with an MBE for services to Heritage and Regeneration in Coventry.

The 57-year-old Chartered Surveyor is managing director of Complex Development Projects (CDP), an award-winning family-owned company that specialises in urban regeneration by working in partnership with government, community groups and charities.

He is also Chairman of Historic Coventry Trust, the charity leading the revival of Coventry’s historic buildings, and a Trustee of City of Culture 2021.

Ian, a former pupil of King Henry VIII’s School, said: “The award is a recognition of efforts of the very many people from all walks of life that I have worked with over many years towards the aim of making Coventry a great place again.

“For the first time in my life, this is really within our grasp and it just shows that there are no limits to what we can achieve by working together. Everyone has their own individual talents and by combining together we have become a pretty unstoppable force for good.

“I wouldn’t have been able to achieve half of what I’ve done over the years without the never-ending support of my husband José, my assistant Kate and my family.

“We inspire and encourage each other and share the ups and downs. It is perhaps apt that the secret for Coventry’s brighter future has been for the city to pull together like a big family.”

CDP, which Ian runs jointly with his brother Brian from offices in Coventry and London, is renowned for tackling challenging sites delivering pioneering and innovative projects which breathe new life into urban centres.

The company’s partnership with Coventry City Council has recently regenerated the historic Far Gosford St area as the city’s creative quarter centred on Fargo Village, and has been a leading partner in the City of Culture bid.

CDP’s innovative reuse of the city’s 1896 power station, which was threatened with demolition, created Electric Wharf, a live/work creative village which won Outstanding Place of the Decade in 2010.

The company is also working on major projects in Birmingham, Smethwick, Stourbridge and Bristol while work starts shortly on a long-term partnership for the regeneration of Old Town Leamington Spa as a new quarter for digital and creative industries.

Acting personally, Ian joined with the local community in 2011 to found Historic Coventry Trust to save Coventry’s Charterhouse, a former Carthusian Monastery founded by Richard II in 1385.

The Charterhouse now forms the centrepiece of plans for a new 70 acre Heritage Park – a £15m project that will provide an exceptional landscape next to the city centre. The charity has grown in aspiration to become a ‘National Trust’ for Coventry with the aim of preserving all heritage at risk for future generations and bringing buildings back into productive economic, cultural and social use.

Delivery of the vision was recently boosted by a ground-breaking deal with Coventry City Council to transfer ownership of 27 historic buildings and sites to the Trust which is the largest ever in the UK. If the funding can be secured, this will kick-start a five-year restoration and regeneration programme in excess of £30m.

Caption: Ian Harrabin, who has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list (left) with his brother, Brian, and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, at FarGo Village, one of his ground breaking developments.