HSBC’s massive move puts office space in Birmingham city centre firmly on the financial map

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Another show of huge inward investment for the city has arrived in the form of HSBC’s announcement to lease 210,000 sq ft at the now soon-to-be-built Two Arena Central offices in Birmingham city centre. The biggest of its kind in well over a decade, the relocation is expected to bring 1000 new jobs to the city.

Yesterday, HSBC announced that it was moving its ring-fenced UK personal and business bank to Birmingham. They are now in advanced negotiations to conclude the acquisition of a 250-year lease on a new national head office comprising 210,000 sq ft at Two Arena Central. The move will start mid-2017, with construction work beginning in June this year. This acquisition is expected to bring a boost of £121 million to Birmingham’s economy every year.

As the ‘cranes return’, this is also fantastic news for Birmingham, geographically. The city centre is going to be dramatically expanded due to the construction of Two Arena Central and the other developments occurring in the city. Already underway, the Paradise redevelopment will open up the link from New Street to Broad Street and Brindleyplace, and undoubtedly this helped cement the HSBC deal. Two Arena Central will expand Birmingham city centre right into the current void behind Alpha Tower, also giving better connections to The Mailbox. In turn, this will greatly help Alpha Tower, which was recently bought by commercial property developers CEG and is currently undergoing major refurbishment.

John Bryce, partner of Birmingham’s largest dedicated office agency, commented: “This eclipses the Deutsche Bank deal of two years ago and possibly even HS2 last year. From a square footage point of view, it almost totals the two combined – it breaks all the statistics. This is incredible news for the city of Birmingham.”

Here is a table of the biggest deals over the past 5 years, including the HSBC deal at Two Arena Central, which we anticipate will appear in the Birmingham Office Market Forum statistics later this year.

YearOccupierOffice space (sq ft)
2013Deutsche Bank136,000
2011The Law Society55,000

Birmingham was chosen by HSBC following a review of a number of possible head office locations. The review considered whether London was necessarily the best place for the ring-fenced bank’s new head office given the UK-wide coverage of HSBC’s 16 million customers, its employees and branch network. HSBC already has close connections with Birmingham. The bulk of its business came from the 1993 acquisition of Midland Bank, which was founded in 1836 as the Birmingham and Midland Bank.

Antonio Simoes, chief executive officer of HSBC UK, said: “Birmingham is a vibrant, growing city that has the expertise and infrastructure to support our ring-fenced bank and brings us a step closer to our ambition of being the bank of choice in the UK.”

Chancellor George Osborne said: “I’m delighted that one of Britain’s biggest companies, HSBC, is coming to Birmingham to set up its new UK HQ. The announcement today means 1,000 jobs for the city and a major boost for the Midlands as the engine for growth in Britain.”

KWB’s forecasted ‘return of the cranes’, is here, it would seem, with Paradise underway and Two Arena Central due to start this summer. This will bring to the Birmingham office skyline the progression it deserves, and when we take into account the revamped New Street Station, Grand Central, HS2 rail system, as well as the tram system running through the city, it’s clear to see a revitalised Birmingham is fast approaching. Watch this space…

For more information on offices in Birmingham city centre please contact John Bryce on 0121 212 5988 or email