In 2014 Birmingham City Council announced the offer of a 250 year lease on the site of the Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre. It has undertaken a Two Stage Informal Tender process, with the following timeline:
- 14 May 2015 – bidders asked to make a Stage 1 offer.
- Summer 2015 – Birmingham City Council evaluated bids and invited a shortlist of three bidders to submit a Stage 2 bid.
- 4 September 2015 – bidders asked to make their Stage 2 offer.Autumn 2015, Birmingham City Council select preferred bidder.
Once the preferred bidder has been chosen, it is likely that they will develop a planning application (process dependent on chosen bid).
In the original tender documentation, Birmingham City Council indicated that anticipated the woodland area continuing to be used as woodland and that developers might form a consortium or joint venture with a third party in relation with the retention and continued use of the woodland area.
Birmingham City Council received five Stage 1 tenders, and three of the bidders made Stage 2 offers. These are Oxford Co-Housing; The Oxford Trust (also known as Science Oxford); and an anonymous bidder. In late October 2015, The Oxford Trust announced that (subject to contract) its bid was successful.
The Oxford Trust is planning to include an innovation centre for start-up companies and entrepreneurs working in science and technology; an education centre providing hands-on science experiences for primary school-aged students and their families; and a managed woodland environment that will support the education centre and provide public access into this previously private location. More information.