Birmingham kicked off 2021 with the city council outlining its ambitious vision for the future. The Our Future City Plan Our aims to deliver on the green economy and see the city bounce back with a focus on connectivity and equality.  

With the Commonwealth Games just around the corner and HS2 bringing a wealth of opportunities, Birmingham has all the right ingredients for how a city can be redesigned with people and pride at its centre.

To an uneducated outsider, however, Birmingham is brutalist, fenced in by its choking ring road.

But could they be wrong? As cranes pepper the skyline and decades of concrete architecture are being replaced, can Birmingham shake off its brutalist image? Can the heart of the golden triangle shine even brighter or does the boom in last-mile logistics pose a threat?

Join EG as we venture to the city find out what is in store for the future of Birmingham.


Beth McArdle, partner & joint head of Birmingham office, Shoosmiths

McArdle specialises in providing strategic, commercial real estate advice to corporate occupier clients and has a keen interest in developing new, customised ways of working that offer complete transparency of the work the firm does with its clients, all with the primary aim of enhancing the client experience.

Charles Toogood, principal & managing director – national offices and leasing advisory team, Avison Young

Toogood has overall responsibility for the operation and strategic direction of the UK service line. Based in Avison Young’s Birmingham office, his principal client focus is city centre transactional work, largely in the office market, alongside development consultancy in office-led mixed-use development and placemaking. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the transactional, office and education sectors in the Midlands.

Chair: Samantha McClary, editor, EG

McClary has almost 20 years’ experience in real estate and business journalism, covering a wide range of topics. Alongside making sure EG delivers the best, most helpful, most accurate and, of course, most interesting content to EG’s readership across all platforms – print, online and audio – she also plays a leading role in enabling and delivering a more diverse environment for the real estate community through EG’s REWIRE and tech initiatives. A keen chair and regular wearer of too bright trousers, McClary seeks to help keep panel discussions and events lively with audience participation and insightful questioning.

James Needham, partner – real estate, Shoosmiths

Needham is a real estate partner in Shoosmiths’ Birmingham office, specialising in commercial development, funding and strategic land. He has particular experience acting for developers in forward funded prelet developments and on the preparation, servicing and phased disposal of strategic mixed use and residential sites.

John Mulqueen, head of offices, EMEA, CBRE Global Investors

Mulqueen works closely with the CBRE’s local teams and programme leaders to ensure best practice, devising and implementing the office sector investment strategy from acquisition through asset management and disposal. He oversees effective and efficient investment processes to deliver exceptional performance for the firm’s clients across the office platform in EMEA valued in excess of €9bn. Mulqueen joined CBRE Global Investors in September 2013. He is a member of the EMEA Investment Committee.

Charles Spicer, director, Birmingham industrial agency, Savills

Spicer has approximately 15 years’ experience in the property market, acting principally in the wider Midlands geographic area but he also advises on projects nationally. He specialises in agency and development advice in the industrial and logistics sector. Spicer has a vast track record of advising landowners, developers, local authorities and occupiers on industrial and distribution schemes across Birmingham, the Midlands and wider UK market.

Emma Prowse, associate director Birmingham development, Savills

Prowse focuses on the Midlands but operates on a national remit. She has a wide range of development consultancy experience, specialising in employment land and strategic regeneration. She advises public and private sector landowners and developers with particular expertise in delivery strategy, deal structuring and development partner procurement.

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