Following a major programme of consultation with Birmingham’s communities, a planning application was recently submitted to Birmingham City Council. You can view a summary of the plans on this page.

Smithfield is a large and complex development being delivered through a Lendlease and BCC partnership, which will be designed and built in multiple phases. The first planning application includes outline proposals for the whole site and detailed proposals for the first phase of development. You can view the planning application below.

What is Smithfield Birmingham?

Smithfield is a new innovative and sustainable development in the city centre that will include:

  • A vibrant new market attracting domestic and international visitors and creating a new home for the Indoor Market, Rag and Open Market
  • Around 3,000 new homes including affordable homes
  • High-quality office space totalling over one million sq ft
  • New cultural, leisure and recreational spaces and buildings, including a music venue, hotel, art gallery, artists' spaces, family entertainment and health and wellbeing offers
  • A network of new public squares and green spaces including Festival Square and Smithfield Park together with a new green boulevard
  • Community facilities to support a city centre residential neighbourhood, including a primary school and/or creche


Our current ideas for the overall Smithfield Birmingham masterplan are shown here. We want Smithfield to be a place to visit, meet, enjoy and celebrate everything that Birmingham has to offer.

  • Lendlease has been selected as Birmingham City Council’s Development Partner to bring forward plans for Smithfield. Lendlease is an international real estate and investment group with significant experience in shaping cities and creating strong and connected communities across the world.



  • Our wider Smithfield Birmingham team includes planning, infrastructure and landscape consultants Prior + Partners, WSP, James Corner Field Operations and DP9.

    We have appointed a host of international and local architects and artists to reinvigorate this site in the heart of Birmingham, including David Kohn Architects, Eastside Projects, dRMM, Intervention Architecture, Haworth Tompkins, Minesh Patel Architects and RCKa.

    Working with Digbeth-based Beatfreeks, we have brought together a youth panel to engage with the views of Birmingham’s young, diverse population as we develop our plans.

  • Smithfield (the site) is the area formerly occupied by the wholesale markets (now demolished) and where the Indoor Market, Rag Market and Open Market currently operate. Sitting just to the south of the Bull Ring Shopping Centre, Smithfield connects with the city centre, Eastside, Digbeth, the Gay Village, the Chinese Quarter and beyond.

    Site history

    The redevelopment of the Smithfield site is part of the City Council’s ambitious Big City Plan, which was launched in 2010, the Birmingham Smithfield Visioning document (2015) and the Birmingham Smithfield Masterplan (2016). It also forms part of the Birmingham Development Plan (2017).

    The masterplan proposals retain and enhance the ‘Big Moves’ that underpin the Council’s aspirations for the site, ensuring that Smithfield supports and encourages the transformation of the wider area. The ‘Big Moves’ are:

    • Vibrant markets and leisure
    • Creation of a new public square, Festival Square
    • New pedestrian routes and boulevards
    • Integrated public transport
    • A new residential neighbourhood


    P2 Aerial photograph showing the Smithfield site boundary.jpg

  • Our proposals for Smithfield Birmingham are based on local context, drawing from Birmingham City Council’s Big Moves principles. This has shaped our four defining place principles.

    Smithfield will be:

    •An international destination which supports the city’s art and cultural ambition. 
    • Reflective of the character of the wider city. 
    • A mixed use community with something for everyone, complementing and enhancing existing aspects of the city. 
    • A celebration of Birmingham’s heritage.  
    • Reconnected with the rest of the city, reinstating the historic street pattern to unlock disconnected parts of Birmingham - prioritising pedestrians and cyclists, and increasing access for the public. 
    • Home to a diverse public realm that is walkable, accessible, and inclusive. 
    • A resilient, sustainable environment that uses resources wisely to reduce its impact on climate change, and incorporates new green spaces to improve wellbeing and biodiversity. 
    • Safe and welcoming for residents and visitors alike. 

    Click here to see an overview of the masterplan for Smithfield.

    Our place principles:

How we have responded to community feedback

Throughout 2022, we ran a major programme of consultation with Birmingham’s communities to gather views and ideas on our emerging plans. We’re using the feedback we receive to develop detailed proposals for the Smithfield masterplan for the whole site and phase one covering the first five years.

A summary of the key themes from the feedback we received and how we have responded are included in our document which can be downloaded here, along with appendices which you can view here.

Smithfield in perspective

As the centrepiece of Smithfield, we are developing a new home for the city’s historic Bull Ring markets, with a new destination experience to establish Smithfield as a prestigious globally recognised market district.

Our planned enhancements to connectivity - through public transport and pedestrian routes - will strengthen the gateway to Eastside, a growing technology and knowledge-based area.

New, outstanding leisure and cultural spaces with diverse, engaging public art will be home to live performances for all ages. The quality destinations at Smithfield will allow local people to meet and come together.

Meanwhile our urban greening approach will ensure sustainable city living for residents of Smithfield, with community spaces, a new public park, squares and active play for children. Smithfield’s residential offering will capitalise on natural light, maximise green space and put health and wellbeing front of mind.


A vibrant new home for the historic Bull Ring markets

The rich trading history of the Indoor, Open and Rag Markets is central to our plans to create a vibrant new market at Smithfield.

Working with Digbeth-based Eastside Projects, we have been speaking to and shadowing market traders, staff and customers to understand their needs and aspirations for the future market.

Our findings from engaging with market traders helped inform the draft plans, which include:

  • A new market building bringing together the current Indoor and Rag Markets, complemented by an outdoor market space on the site of the Open Market
  • A new rooftop garden with spectacular views over Festival Square, plus planting space and garden stalls to promote biodiversity and wellbeing
  • Space for live performances and events, day and night – celebrating the city’s rich cultural, musical and artistic diversity
  • Places to eat, drink and socialise with friends and family including a new dining hall

A dynamic public realm with something for everyone

The new public realm is being designed to celebrate the history of the moat on the site, as well as the cultural history of the markets.

Festival Square and Market Square both feature places for informal gatherings as well as more structured events and concerts for up to 7,500 people.

Festival Square, Market Square, Upper Smithfield Walk and Moat Lane will together form a ‘Festival Canvas’ where large and small events can be held for people from all walks of life.

Most of the streets at Smithfield will be lined with trees, providing shade in increasingly hot summers and nesting branches for local bird populations. This new tree planting will considerably increase the greenery in this quarter of the city.

It will be complemented by lush vegetation and generous raingardens throughout the site. Strips of planting between roads and footpaths will be incorporated wherever possible, creating green streets that can absorb rainwater and contribute to ecological health.

Sustainable and modern living in a green setting

We are planning a lushly and thoughtfully planted site, with over 1,000 trees and a range of vegetation suited to the Birmingham climate - including the new Smithfield Park.

Smithfield will provide high-quality city living for families. Apartments are being carefully designed to support residential wellbeing – from shared spaces filled with natural daylight to generous apartments with views across Birmingham.

There will be a new pub on the junction of Upper Smithfield Walk and Upper Dean Street, bringing local people, workers and visitors together at the heart of Smithfield.

Alongside this we will create new space for independent retail and small, growing and large businesses as part of a ‘5 minute high street’ where key local facilities are all within easy reach.

Among the bustle of the city centre, a new health and wellbeing hub will allow people to relax without leaving the heart of the city. Visitors will be able to access a range of retail facilities including food and beverage offerings, leisure facilities such as a gym, and associated rooftop gardens.

Enriching Birmingham's ecology

Most of the streets at Smithfield will be lined with trees, providing shade in increasingly hot summers and nesting branches for local bird populations. This new tree planting will considerably increase the greenery in this quarter of the city.

It will be complemented by lush vegetation and generous raingardens throughout the site. Strips of planting between roads and footpaths will be incorporated wherever possible, creating green streets that can absorb rainwater and contribute to ecological health.

Habitats including small birdhouses, insect hotels and bat boxes will be integrated to create healthy environments not just for local people but animals too. This integrated approach supports Birmingham’s Big City Plan and the UK’s commitment to urban ecological health.


Smithfield will be a well-connected area stitched into the heart of the city centre. Delivering major improvements to accessibility, it will prioritise pedestrians and cyclists while providing links to sustainable transport connections.

P8 Connecting Smithfield.jpg

A cleaner, greener city space

We are carefully designing Smithfield so that amenities, services and infrastructure are put in place to make local living possible and create a vibrant and well-connected environment.
Promoting active travel

We are creating new and improved walking and cycle routes to promote greener travel.

These will include a wide, green pedestrian boulevard running through the centre of Smithfield towards the Bull Ring and Central Birmingham as well as Highgate Park, alongside sustainable transport connections.
Sustainable public transport

Smithfield’s connectivity will be further enhanced by fully integrating public transport. Transport services in dedicated corridors will provide quick and efficient ways of getting around. A short walk from New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street railway stations, Smithfield is also just minutes from the new HS2 station being built at Curzon Street.


Smithfield Birmingham will have something for everyone - from a globally recognised market district and spaces for new and existing small businesses, to sustainable city centre living and outstanding leisure and cultural spaces. This will be stitched into the wider city through integrated transport links, creating a vibrant future for Birmingham. 

What’s next?

Indicative timeline

  • Lendlease selected as preferred development partner for Smithfield. Lendlease hosts Big Ideas events and workshops.

  • Lendlease appointed by Birmingham City Council as Development Partner for Smithfield.

  • Plot architects appointed for development of phase one.

  • Continuing engagement with market traders, landowners and businesses on the future of Smithfield.

  • Public consultation.

    Host venue for the Commonwealth Games.

  • Submission of phase one planning application.

  • Planning consent from Birmingham City Council expected Autumn 2023.

    Infrastructure works begin.

  • Construction commences on site.

  • First phase completes and new market opens.