A £500m plan has been launched to create a brand new space in the centre of Birmingham.

Birmingham Smithfield, located in the heart of the city, will feature a combination of retail markets, leisure centres, independent shops, restaurants, hotels and spaces for cultural events.

A major feature of the project is Festival Square, a focal point for the site and a new public space for the city as a whole. The square will be a meeting place and a hub for festivals and cultural events.

“Birmingham is experiencing an unprecedented period of change as billions of pounds of investment transform the city’s economy,” said Councillor John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council. “With 3,000 new jobs and 2,000 new homes, Birmingham Smithfield puts people right at the heart of an exciting project that will transform lives.

“Over the next decade this will continue at a dramatic pace as new jobs, transport facilities and residential communities are delivered and I’m confident our plans for Birmingham Smithfield will create a place for people that stands the test of time and sets the standard for sustainable development.”

A launch on 21 March will kick-start an eight-week period of public consultation where the city council will hold exhibitions and events allowing the people of Birmingham to visit and contribute ideas to the project.

More details on the development can be found on the Birmingham council website.