Perry Barr is a vibrant, busy, and evolving place, home to a young and diverse community. Work that will see the area transform has already commenced, supported by more than £700m of public sector investment in transport, new homes, and community facilities.
Arup has helped to devise, implement, and lead a major regeneration programme for Perry Barr which builds upon its energy, promise, and possibility. A series of interconnected proposals have sought to regenerate the area, deliver notable improvements for the community and will serve as a catalyst for wider growth.
Our role has included redesigning a unique sporting venue in the Alexander Stadium, working closely with the Birmingham City Council team to develop a masterplan for Perry Barr, and helping to meet housing growth goals through shaping the commercial and development strategy for the Perry Barr Village - a significant new and well-loved neighbourhood planned to deliver around 2,000 new homes.
The masterplan - ‘Perry Barr 2040: A Vision for Legacy’ - has reignited and refocussed the area’s commercial and leisure offer with improvements to the district centre and has identified a series of much-needed new residential development opportunities alongside new schools and community facilities.
Our work represents a partnership between the Council, the West Midlands Combined Authority, Homes England, and an extensive professional team to ensure the proposals are shaped by the community and focused on people, greener transport, accessible green spaces, and economic growth.
Shaping the future of Perry Barr
Working closely and collaboratively with the Council, we promoted five key principles to deliver a cohesive vision for the area, focussing on:
Living and working – with new homes and community facilities
Renewing and repurposing – utilising brownfield sites for new uses
Connecting green spaces and places – expanding the green and blue corridors along canal towpaths, rivers, and through existing parks
Promoting healthy communities – with better cycling routes and footpaths
Delivering a thriving local centre – with new retail, transport connections and improved public realm
The key principles work together to help promote Perry Barr as a place people choose to live, work, visit and play in ways that are equitable, healthier, better-connected and low carbon
“ The Perry Barr masterplan is a major driver for growth for both now and the future. Arup’s guidance on the masterplanning process and subsequent implementation is rooted in partnership, ensuring the work we’re delivering is motivated by the needs of the local community. ” Alex Phillips Director, Arup
Reflecting community needs
The design and adoption of the Perry Barr masterplan has happened at pace during the past two years and will help shape the future of the area to 2040.
An ambitious programme of engagement (at a challenging time) has brought the local community on the journey and garnered support for change in an area that has historically lacked investment. Extensive and detailed public consultation was central to the approach to ensure that proposals responded to local people's genuine needs, wants, and concerns.
By listening to the community through a range of engagement initiatives, the masterplanning team helped to create a sense of genuine co-ownership of the ideas and in the programme of short-, medium-, and long-term change. This resulted in a robust series of recommendations that have been refined by the local community while simultaneously improving stakeholder relations and trust.
Arup's team has been integral to both the drawing up and implementation of the masterplan. They’ve been there since the start of this process in 2018 and their design and overall project management experience has allowed us to deliver a transformational masterplan at pace for the benefit of the people of Birmingham. ” Rebecca Farr Development Planning Manager – Inclusive Growth, Birmingham City Council
Promoting health and wellbeing
Our team provided design, planning, and technical expertise to transform the Alexander Stadium and its associated public realm to enable it to serve as a key anchor for Perry Park, and a major component of the wider Perry Barr masterplan This further proposes improved connections with Perry Park, Perry Hall Park; and the River Tame Corridor to complete an area-wide “green loop”. The Stadium’s legacy will serve a broad range of purposes – from playing host to national and international events, through to its role as an inclusive and appealing place at the heart of the Perry Barr local community. It will achieve this by enabling health and wellbeing through education and training for all, including inactive and hard-to-reach age groups.
An enduring and deliverable vision
Enhancements to Perry Barr’s infrastructure will open up previously hidden or difficult-to-reach spaces. We are encouraging active travel to be a transport mode of choice by installing high-quality and safe pedestrian and cycling routes that make areas, including Alexander Stadium, Perry Park and Perry Hall Park more accessible.
We also identified longer-term civic opportunities, including creating a unified and publicly accessible River Tame corridor. Running through the heart of Perry Barr, the river can, in places, be re-naturalised to support improved biodiversity, while reinvigorating the area’s relationship with the riverbank and creating opportunities for new and sustainable destinations and communities.
Delivery of the vision and objectives of the masterplan requires a comprehensive approach to governance, planning, development, and stewardship. The highly collaborative relationship between the Council and Arup has created a robust framework for long-term renewal which can respond to the changing needs and priorities of the Council and deliver long-term success for Perry Barr.