First building approved on £400m Arena Central site

Artists Impression of Arena Central development The building - named 1 Arena Central - will sit off Broad Street

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Plans have been approved for the first building on a £400m development in Birmingham city centre.

The former ATV studios site, off Broad Street and Centenary Square, will turn into an eight-storey office block, shops and an underground car park.

Wider plans for the 9.2-acre (3.7-hectare) site called Arena Central include a hotel, apartments and public spaces.

The first phase is expected to be completed in 2016.

The project, approved by Birmingham City councillors on Thursday, will also include landscaping and a water feature.

A spokesman for developers Arena Central said demand for office space in the city was increasing as Birmingham became "an overspill" for business from south-east England.

It will be located within the city's Enterprise Zone, where reduced business rates apply.

The project will tie in with regeneration schemes across the city, including the planned buillding of offices, shops, leisure facilities and a hotel as part of the £450m Paradise Circus redevelopment.

Birmingham New Street Station is also currently being given a £650m revamp, while plans have been revealed for the redevelopment of 350 acres (141 hectares) of the city centre around the site of an HS2 station.

The new £189m Library of Birmingham opened in September.

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