Chinese private equity fund supports Birmingham’s regeneration

PGC Capital, a private equity fund based in China, has today officially broken ground on its first development in Birmingham’s renowned Jewellery Quarter.

PGC Capital’s Jewel Court development will see this prime city centre site in Legge Lane transformed into a collection of 77 luxury apartments which will be available for private purchase and on a buy-to-let basis.

PGC Capital aims to channel capital from Chinese state-owned and listed companies and high net worth individuals into UK projects which will offer the greatest returns and least amount of risk. Focus sectors include property, energy and infrastructure, initially in Birmingham, but with the potential to extend to Manchester and beyond.

PGC Capital comprises a consortium of investors from China and Taiwan, which includes Dr. Ching Chih Chen, one of Taiwan’s wealthiest men and a prolific philanthropist in regeneration schemes, whose family runs the Wan Hai Lines shipping dynasty, and Denise Li, CEO of PGC. They are confident they will invest much more in the UK over the next few years but this will be governed by the requirement of the cities they have identified as being ripe for development.

Commenting on the initiative, Ms Li, said: “We believe that this investment will further enhance the relationship between Birmingham and China. Birmingham is a remarkably vibrant city, located as it is in the heart of England with exceptional transportation links, a thriving commercial centre and world-class facilities from the Arts to shopping”.

“While we anticipate significant returns on investment in the next five years, we are also committed to creating job opportunities here. Birmingham will be the vanguard to demonstrate how the East and West can work together”.

PGC Capital has brought together a specialised team to assist in its investment and development programme at The Jewel Court and future projects in the city. Head of project management, Anthony McCourt from Court Collaborations, said: “We are delighted to be developing PGC’s first UK property project. The Jewel Court has been sensitively designed to complement the feel of the Jewellery Quarter”.

Richard Shaylor of Shaylor Construction commented: “International property and construction consultancy, Gleeds, has been appointed to project and cost manage the development through the building phase”.

Gleeds director for the West Midlands, Lindsay McCombe, added: “It’s hugely exciting to be working on a scheme that will help put Birmingham on the map as a prime location for global investment; one that is already having a direct impact on the local economy thanks to PGC’s decision to handpick locally-based businesses for their project delivery team”.

The Jewel Court development will comprise 77 one and two bed apartments with 53 parking spaces and is expected to be completed by Q2 2017.