Birmingham City Council has put it's money where it's mouth is and signed a development agreement pledging £61 million towards the £450 million JV with the British Telecom Pension Fund backed Hermes Real Estate, to carry out the planned regeneration of a 17 acre city centre site between Centenary Square and Chamberlain Square.

Hermes has appointed Argent as the managing partner for the scheme, and now a start will be made on the detailed planning, design and marketing of the first phase of the project. The £61 million will fund infrastructure and site preparation.

Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham City Council has backed the Paradise Circus proposals for many years so it is a momentous occasion to have agreed a formal Joint Venture to help bring the plans to fruition.

“I am looking forward to witnessing the changes that will be made to such a strategically vital and commercially imperative site. Nobody should underestimate the importance of the Joint Venture to the delivery of the Paradise Circus redevelopment. It brings certainty that the scheme will go ahead and will attract inward investment and employment opportunities to the city.”

In all 10 new buildings are envisaged in the mixed use plans, which will involve the controversial demolition of the Central Library and the replacement of the Copthorne Hotel. New offices will address the shortage of Grade A space in the city.

Plans for the first phase of the scheme will include the new road layout, substantial new public realm and two new office buildings providing over 250,000 sq ft of Grade A offices. A detailed planning application is expected to be lodged in early 2014.

Argent’s Senior Project Director Rob Groves, who said: "The redevelopment of Paradise Circus has the potential to make the most significant impact on the city centre for a generation.

"The site’s combined qualities of its central location and historic landmarks creates an unrivalled opportunity to create a sustainable, first class environment that will transform this key part of Birmingham city centre."

Paradise Circus is the first development to move forward within Birmingham’s new Enterprise Zone and drive the regeneration which is set to create thousands of jobs.