Birmingham lands £2bn housing agreement with Chinese developer

Birmingham Council leader John Clancy (front right) signs an agreement with Country Garden chairman Yang Guoqiang.

In another sign of the growing influence of Chinese investment on the UK construction sector, Birmingham City Council has signed a deal with the fifth largest property developer in China to invest and build new homes in the city in an agreement that could be worth up to £2bn to the city’s economy.

City council leader John Clancy agreed the deal with Guangdong-based developer Country Garden during a week-long trade mission to China. The deal will see the company explore large-scale investment opportunities in the Greater Birmingham area, with a key focus on development surrounding HS2.

It has also agreed to look at developing housing in the city and sites under consideration include the Curzon Street Eastside area, the Smithfield development on the old Wholesale Markets site and Icknield Port Loop in Ladywood. 

Commenting on the deal, Clancy said: “The landscape has inevitably changed post-Brexit and Birmingham is already out of the starting blocks. That's why I'm here selling our city to many of China's leading investors. This agreement is about bringing good jobs and quality homes to Birmingham.

“Country Garden has a proven track record of building homes at pace and scale. They have played a major role over the last 20 years and as housebuilders have met the massive demands of China's rapidly expanding economy. Bringing this level of investment and experience to Birmingham would be a massive economic boost to the region's businesses, skills base and families. It's about bringing new, big capital spend to the city, quickly.”

Clancy said he hoped to secure deals which would help Birmingham achieve its target of building 80,000 new homes over the next 15 years. Country Garden founder and chairman Yang Guoqiang said: “I have been impressed with Birmingham's ambition and huge potential and I am delighted to announce this investment commitment to support significant housing and infrastructure development in the city.

"We have a proven track record in delivering quality housing at a scale to match Birmingham's ambitions and with major projects coming to the city, including the forthcoming High Speed Two project, these are exciting times for Country Garden and Birmingham."

If you would like to contact Andy Walker about this, or any other story, please email