Birmingham City wasn’t highest bidder for Wheels site with another offer £30m more

Birmingham City FC's mega-rich owners snapped up the Bordesley Park 'Wheels' site for £30 million LESS than a developer previously offered. Jane Haynes’ Inside Birmingham newsletter exclusively revealed the £51 million Blues will pay, represented a huge drop.

In fact, the cash-strapped Birmingham City Council accepted the offer less than two years after a major property developer offered £81 million for the Birmingham Wheels site. The findings were described as 'very concerning' by Conservative group leader Cllr Robert Alden.

In a statement the council said: "The council got the best market value for the site at the time of sale. While delivering value for money is the key driver in the sale of any asset, it is also important to also look at the wider implications of Knighthead's plans to regenerate a key site in East Birmingham, creating up to 3,000 much-needed jobs and boosting the local economy. There are many reasons why this is a great deal for the people of Birmingham."

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The Inside Birmingham newsletter, published on Fridays, looks into the history of negotiations over Birmingham Wheels land. It reveals how Cllr Alden is concerned at a time when the authority is slashing budgets for vital community services including libraries and youth clubs, travel for disabled children and day care, while hiking council tax by 10% a year.

However, he adds: “Clearly the Blues bid will bring a lot of benefits to the city.” People and Politics Editor Jane Haynes’ exclusive newsletter also looks into the discussions between Blues and the council about the planned purchase and sports village.

Whereas the Blues deal is initially worth £51m, it could rise to more like £60m. However, that still represents a drop.

The council, currently in special measures over its financial crisis, discussed the previous offers for the site at a meeting of its Cabinet on June 28, 2022. In a private session, members assessed the bids that had been received following a marketing exercise by property consultants Savills, who had secured several offers.