A new taskforce dedicated to unlocking publicly owned land in the West Midlands for housing and regeneration has been launched.
The initiative has brought together property experts from the public and private sectors to explore how land could be used to provide greater benefit to local communities and the wider region.
West Midlands Combined Authority, which is leading the project, said there were around 13,590 acres of vacant public land in the region which represented a major opportunity to realise the economic value of this space.
The new taskforce is led by Stephen Barter, chairman of investment firm Wilton Capital Advisers, who has more than 40 years of real estate experience as an investor, developer and adviser.
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Mr Barter said: “The taskforce provides a terrific opportunity to harness the special knowledge and expertise of key industry players from across the region in one forum.
“It will seek to build upon the success of brownfield regeneration programmes within the West Midlands over many years.
“By making better use of public land to meet local needs within the region for affordable homes and high-quality jobs in a more joined-up way, we want to create further shared achievements for the region and the communities who call it home.”
Organisations involved in the taskforce include Homes England, Ministry of Housing, Argent, Birmingham City Council and Transport for West Midlands.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street added: “We have identified that public land can play a vital part in our economic recovery from the covid-19 pandemic.
“We have brought together senior leaders from the public and private sectors with expertise in land and real estate, convening to unlock the unrealised land potential in the public estate.
“By supporting the identification of surplus land to meet the additional housing and employment needs of the region and enable additional social infrastructure, the taskforce can offer insight into how land can be used to fast-track an inclusive economic recovery for the region.”