Midlands Industrial Association Limited, Birmingham was founded in 1982 by a group of individuals who possessed relevant experience in urban regeneration, industrial and commercial development and local government.
The Association is a registered under the Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (Reg. No. 23468R) whose declared aims and objectives are to promote employment and fight dereliction through the encouragement of the small firms sector, by providing suitable workspace through the refurbishment of redundant buildings and the reclamation of derelict sites in inner city areas of Birmingham and Wolverhampton. The Association currently has 7 projects in management in Birmingham (Aston, Digbeth and the Jewellery Quarter) and Wolverhampton City Centre, jointly accountable for 270,000 sq.ft. of commercial offices and industrial floor space and accommodation for small firms, with a rent role of some £1.3m per annum.
The Association believes very strongly that appropriately designed, well presented and sympathetically managed offices and industrial units are a major contributory factor to the success of newly established and existing small firms. Consequently, great emphasis is placed upon upkeep and maintenance and “hands on” management.
In addition, all tenants of our offices and industrial units are offered easy-in, easy-out monthly licence terms, which cover not only rental charges but also service costs. In some cases, heating, electricity and rates are also included spreading the occupiers property costs dramatically, smoothing cash and at the same time enabling accurate budgeting.
M.I.A. was one of the pioneers in managed workspace within the private sector. Its first project was the Telsen Centre, Aston, Birmingham, a 91,000 sq.ft., 4 storey warehouse conversion, which was leased from Birmingham City Council in a partly converted state. Further conversion work was undertaken in 4 separate contracts and now the Centre can accommodate firms mainly of an engineering nature in units from 250 – 7,000 sq.ft. in size. Typically it is 75% occupied.
The success of this first project led Birmingham City Council to invite M.I.A. to manage a further similar project – the Jubilee Centre, in the wholesale markets area of Birmingham. The offices and industrial units available range from 680 – 2,500 sq.ft. on upper floors, with 3 larger units at ground floor level. The space is designed to attract cleaner industrial users than at Telsen, and is favoured by the printing, garment and catering trades and accommodates 51 tenants in 90,000 sq.ft.
The third development is The Argent Centre, within the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, which the Associations hold freehold. A Grade II* listed building, the premises acquisition and conversion was project managed in-house from scheme inception through to letting and subsequent management. The project was awarded one of the first UDG’s in the country and was subsequently selected by the Department of Environment for their manual of good practice in the provision of managed offices. The scheme is popular with design, computer and marketing organisations with its selection of workspace units ranging from 150 – 2,750 sq.ft in an attractive environment, 41 tenants occupy the premises; the net lettable area being approximately 33,000 sq.ft.
The fourth project is The Chubb Buildings in Wolverhampton’s town centre. This is a mixed use scheme designed specifically for the media and creative industries sector. This listed building had stood idle for several years prior to its acquisition and refurbishment by M.I.A. conformed in partnership with Wolverhampton City Council and the Light House Media Centre to promote the project totalling 30,000 sq.ft. of lettable offices in 39 units. It also incorporates 2 bespoke cinemas, a wine bar, restaurant and art gallery. The centre piece of the development is a large glazed courtyard in which a variety of events can take place including live music, drama, exhibitions and the like.
The Association’s fifth project is “fifty 7” Frederick Street, Birmingham, a former gauge making factory that prior to acquisition and conversion by the Association had been a derelict eyesore in the street scape, a gateway approach to the Jewellery Quarter, for more than 20 years. The Association’s managers conducted the premises acquisition, design and conversion in-house from scheme inception to letting and subsequent management. The development provides 13 units totalling 8,500 sq.ft. for small business and is popular with computer design based companies and business support agencies.
The Association’s “Phase I” is the redevelopment of “old sheds” to the rear and side of The Argent Centre, Birmingham which were difficult to let. In 2005 the New Wing was completed offering 8,000 sq.ft. of lettable workspace in 10 units on upper floors with car parking below. Then in March 2008 the final phase, the Albert Wing was completed totalling over 10,000 sq.ft of lettable space offering 14 affordable, high quality office spaces on upper floors together was two retail shops and parking on the ground floor. This latest project received a 30% grant from Advantage West Midlands.