The original Bullring complex opened in Birmingham, UK, in 1960 and was the first covered retail centre in Europe. It heralded a new approach not just to shopping but also to citycentre life and development. Little was understood at that time of the wide‐ranging effects of a move towards this model, and in its declining years the complex was all too real an illustration of some of the disadvantages of the initial vision. The Birmingham Alliance, comprising three major international property developers/investors, Birmingham City Council and numerous stakeholders, brought together their respective citycentre property holdings and interests, and worked together to create an exciting new vision of a city centre for the 21st century, a vision which would once again place the Bullring in the vanguard of urban renewal. This paper considers the story of the new Bullring and the role that the facilities management (FM) approach has played in the success of the development to illustrate the way that infrastructure services for the complex can add strategic value rather than use up operational cost. It discusses four important challenges that the FM sector will need to address and resolve if the profession is to secure its position as a strategic value‐added contributor to developers and investors in the global retail sector. Finally, it summarises a framework for the future management of regional shopping centres and the role of FM services within this sector.
Journal of Facilities Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 1, 2005
Keywords: Bullring; Regional shopping centres; Infrastructure; Change management; FM strategy