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Thursday, 25 February, 1999, 13:51 GMT
Bulldozing the Bull Ring
Bull Ring
The Bull Ring: Demolition in 2001 for infamous building
One of the symbols of modern Birmingham is finally set for demolition with the announcement that the infamous Bull Ring is to be redeveloped.

Three of the country's largest property firms are joining to rebuild the shopping and markets area in the city centre.

The plans from the Birmingham Alliance will create an estimated 8,000 jobs over the next eight years as 800m is spent.

Rotunda
Rotunda: Unusual office block stays
The leader of Birmingham City Council, Theresa Stewart, said the plans were part of a long-held vision to "break the concrete collar" of the city's inner ring road.

"It's a strategy of cutting through the concrete jungle of the 1960s and 1970s to achieve an attractive place for visitors and shoppers," she said.

One of the city skyline's best-known landmarks, the Rotunda, will survive the changes.

The circular concrete tower block alongside the Bull Ring will be subject to some internal work, but has escaped the axe.

The Birmingham Alliance is formed from Henderson Investors, Land Securities PLC and Hammerson PLC, owners of north London's Brent Cross shopping centre.

St Martin's in the Bull Ring
New plans will centre on St Martin's Church
It says its Birmingham plans will be Europe's biggest retail-led city centre regeneration.

The scheme, including residential developments, will cover an area equivalent to 26 football pitches across the eastern side of the city centre.

Work is due to start in July on a new indoor market with traders from the existing site moving in by Christmas 2000.

Demolition of the Bull Ring is planned for 2001 to make way for a new 500m retail development centred around St Martin's Church.

The city's New Street and Moor Street stations will also receive new accesses, while a new bus station and parking facilities will be provided as part of an integrated transport policy.

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