The Penningtons Manches real estate team has advised long-standing client, Alumno Developments, on its scheme to redevelop No1 City Locks, a derelict site in the centre of Birmingham alongside the Digbeth Branch Canal.

In line with the Birmingham council’s vision to continue the city’s growth as a leading academic centre and to create a Learning Quarter in the heart of the city, the Eastside Locks area has been chosen as the site for the £260 million Birmingham City University (BCU) City Centre Campus project. Its redevelopment represents a long-awaited early stage of renewal for the Eastside Locks area.

Alumno Developments' £30 million scheme meets Birmingham Council’s preference for mixed-use developments and the development will include accommodation for 659 students with communal leisure and study areas within cluster flats together with a shared kitchen/lounge, as well as affordable office and studio space for business start-ups and incubation units. A retail unit has also been incorporated into the plans, for use by resident students, businesses and local people.

Commenting on Alumno’s plans, managing director, David Campbell, said: “Not only does our scheme encourage a new active and sustainable canal-side environment but it also offers improved safety by increased use of the area. It will be one of the first prominent buildings that visitors see as they arrive at the proposed HS2 Curzon Street Station.

“As with all Alumno developments, No1 City Locks will be professionally managed and will offer modern and fully integrated facilities for the students.”

Since the approval of the scheme in early 2014, Penningtons Manches partner, John Hargreaves, who specialises in student accommodation, has worked closely with David Campbell on all the legal aspects of the scheme including the purchase and forward sale of the site and the relevant planning requirements together with the negotiation of contracts.

Alumno’s enabling works have now started on site which comprises with three towers, the highest of which is 17 storeys. The anticipated completion date is autumn 2016