Eversheds advises AWM on lease and development of Pebble Mill

Eversheds has gained a key role advising on the redevelopment of the BBC studios at Pebble Mill in Birmingham after advising Advantage West Midland (AWM) on its deal to take over the lease of the site.

The BBC will move its radio and televison operation to the Mailbox development in the city centre in 2004, leaving the landmark nine-acre site at Edgbaston available for redevelopment. Beachcroft Wansbroughs partner John Phelps advised the broadcaster.

Eversheds AWM client partner Parmjit Singh is advising the agency on its proposals for the Pebble Mill site, which it will redevelop in a joint venture with a commercial partner.
By coincidence, Singh also advised the Birmingham Mailbox when the BBC agreed its deal to relocate to the scheme some 15 months earlier. A massive Eversheds team has been involved in the Mailbox, which is Europe’s largest mix-used scheme.

The deals were separate, but Singh said that AWM’s decision to take on the Pebble Mill lease means that the BBC can move with a clean slate. Two years ago, the BBC decided that the cost of modernising the Pebble Mill building was too expensive.

The deal with AWM closed just as the development agency finalised details of its new panel following a retender.

Eversheds was reappointed with Hammond Suddards Edge and DLA, while Bevan Ashford won a place on the panel for the first time. Pinsent Curtis Biddle and Wragge & Co were unsuccessful.

Singh said: “Because the panel has been consolidated there is the opportunity to provide a greater level of service.

“We get a broad range of work from them. They’re driving physical regeneration, but their agenda is also social regeneration.”

Eversheds’ work for the agency includes advising on the
corporate structures of regeneration zones and the funding of so-called ‘Innovative Clusters’ of businesses. Partner Mike O’Sullivan is also advising AWM on Birmingham’s Eastside regeneration.