Construction & regeneration
19 hours ago - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Gunsmith House Lofts: Construction Imminent

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The demolition of all dilapidated industrial buildings at Gunsmith House Lofts, 51-61 Price Street, has been completed in recent weeks.

The site, below, will soon be transformed to deliver a vibrant new residential community of 85 homes, complete with a 3m high artwork structure.

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Change is coming to Price Street! Three new interconnected buildings of four to five storeys with dual aspect rear wings will be constructed as part of the street's exciting reanimation.

Gunsmith House, a locally listed heritage asset, is currently the lone survivor but will soon be converted into three new chic apartments on a site that will deliver a mixture of one-to-three-bedroom apartments.

Gunsmith House: Image from Stephen Giles.

Many residents will have access to either balconies and roof terraces, while a courtyard ‘oasis’ garden & a communal lounge, will be available to all. Gated parking will allocate seven spaces, including EV, with 85 cycles also provided.

A 3m high artwork sculpture will overlook the ever-changing area to complete the understated development - similar to that of Assay Lofts, another exemplary development from Elevate Property Group.

SITE HISTORY

Four gunmakers involved in the making of various components of sporting guns formerly occupied the site. The site’s former owner, Laybrook Investments Ltd, instigated their relocation by bringing forward an outline application for the redevelopment of the decrepit site into residential.

Approved – Laybrook then sold the site to Elevate Property Group, who then proceeded with the planning for 85 new homes, while Laybrook moved the gunmakers from their surroundings into adjoining listed buildings on Loveday Street – also owned by Laybrook.

Proceeds from the sale now enable Laybrook to upkeep these properties, thus safeguarding the historic 'makers for years to come, in an area where they made their name.

Demolition & Gunsmith House image(s) from Stephen Giles; CGIs from Elevate Property Group.

You can follow the project here with us, as well as on Twitter, and on Instagram.

 

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20 passion points
Green open spaces
19 hours ago - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A visit to St George's Park on Great Hampton Row

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Getting the train one way to Jewellery Quarter, I walked to St George's Park in Newtown (other side of Great Hampton Street). Found my way there via Lucas Circus and New John Street West, through an housing estate. The park was developed from the 1960s after St George's Church (1821 - 1961) was demolished. But architect Thomas Rickman's tomb and a war memorial survive here.

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St George's Park is located on Great Hampton Row and Uxbridge Street in Newtown, Birmingham (it was part of Hockley). It is a short distance away from Great Hampton Street and the Jewellery Quarter.

For me it was easier to get a train one way to Jewellery Quarter Station and walk, rather than get two buses via the City Centre. Although the no 52 bus route from National Express West Midlands is nearby.

The park was formerly St George's Church. It was built in 1821 from designs by architect Thomas Rickman. After his death 20 years later in 1841, he was buried in a tomb here.

The church was proposed to become Birmingham's Cathedral for the Church of England, after the creation of the Diocese of Birmingham in 1905, but St Philip's Church was chosen instead (that was more centrally located in the City Centre).

The church continued to survive, but fell into disrepair, and was demolished during 1960-61 due to structural problems.

Later in the 1960s, four tower blocks were built around the park including Ryland House, Holland House, Cadbury House and Bowater House.

 

Main entrance to St George's Park from Great Hampton Row

The morning visit on Saturday 14th May 2022.

One of the parks entrance's from Great Hampton Row has a modern gate and path into the park.

St George's Park

This is similar to the other parks in the Newtown area (on the other side of New John Street West). You are now in St George's Park.

St George's Park

Mid May, and the trees are lush and green, creating shadows in the sunshine.

St George's Park

Paths including one towards Uxbridge Street.

St George's Park

There is a play area / playground in the centre of the park. Trees with shadows on the lawn.

St George's Park

Another look at the play area as I headed to the former church yard of St George's Church.

St George's Park

One last look at the play area, before heading into the former churchyard.

St George's Park

Gate to the south east corner of the park.

St George's Park

 

Tomb of Thomas Rickman

I spotted this curious object in the park. It is the Tomb of Thomas Rickman, although it looked like the only remaining bit of St George's Church.

St George's Park

A close up look at the Tomb of Thomas Rickman (1776 - 1841). It is Grade II listed. Phyllis Nicklin photographed it herself in 1967 (several years after the church was demolished). See Thomas of Thomas Rickman by Phyllis Nicklin.

St George's Park

The Tomb is now surrounded by trees. This was once also called St George's Gardens.

St George's Park

 

St George's Church War Memorial

This is the St George's Church War Memorial. In the shape of a Celtic Cross. It commemorates those who were lost during the First World War (1914-18). There is now a couple of park benches near it.

St George's Park

 

St George's Gardens

Heading to the south west corner exit of St George's Park,a look at the former site of St George's Church, or perhaps it's churchyard.

St George's Park

Gravestones remains around the perimeter wall, and the area is full of trees, perhaps they were planted in the 1960s?

St George's Park

Outside of St George's Park, now back on Great Hampton Row. To the right is St George's C of E Academy (a primary school). St George's Community Hub is also located here. The old brick walls with railings of the former St George's Church survive here at St George's Park.

St George's Park

 

Views from St George's Park

I found a view from St George's Park towards the spire of St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quater, Library of Birmingham and The Mercian in Westside.

St George's Park

On the left is the spire of St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quarter. Behind the church is Arena Central in Westside, where you can see HSBC UK at One Centenary Square and HMRC at Three Arena Central.

St George's Park

In the middle you can see the Library of Birmingham with Hyatt Regency Birmingham behind.

St George's Park

Finally on the right you can see The Mercian with The Bank in the distance in Westside from St George's Park.

St George's Park

Photography by Elliott Brown

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Modern Architecture
14 May 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Mercian - Great Modern Architecture

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The completed Mercian is the dominant tower on Broad Street in the West Side at 132m. Here is a gallery of recent photos of the building. Take the full feature link to see the construction photography gallery, previous posts and map of the site.

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15th November 2021

25th November 2021

26th November 2021

26th December 2021

29th November 2021

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

4th December 2021

Photography by Elliott Brown.

 

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

5th December 2021

Photography by Elliott Brown.

 

6th December 2021

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

24th December 2021

31st December 2021

Photography by Elliott Brown.

 

5th January 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

9th January 2022

Photography by Elliott Brown.

 

15th January 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

19th January 2022

Photography by Elliott Brown.

 

20th January 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

29th January 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

6th February 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

19th February 2022

Photography by Elliott Brown.

 

22nd February 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

23rd February 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

27th February 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

6th March 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

19th March 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

2nd April 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

3rd April 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

17th April 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

 

30th April 2022 - from Hagley Road near Five Ways and a view to The Square core.

The Mercian

The MercianPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

14th May 2022 - St George's Park, near Great Hampton Row in Newtown.

The Mercian

The MercianPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

There are now over 1500 photos of the construction of this building and can be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: The Mercian Full Construction Gallery.

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Construction & regeneration
13 May 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Introducing: Affinity Living Lancaster Wharf

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Affinity Living Lancaster Wharf is a major build-to-rent (BTR) placemaking scheme of 266 one-and-two-bedroom apartments coming forward in the Gun Quarter.

With a contractor lined up, demolition imminent, and apartments now being marketed, new renderings of the development have been unveiled in recent days.

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The build-to-rent scheme, from Select Property Group’s Affinity Living brand, will feature a series of linked buildings of six to 23-storeys, positively reactivating the canal-side plot to cater to the demands of the Birmingham rental market.

Offering large, contemporary living spaces, with new hybrid ways of living and working, Lancaster Wharf will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and fully integrated high-spec kitchens, in addition to a multitude of amenities.

These include a state-of-the-art gymnasium, with an internal and external sixth-floor terrace area, basement cycle storage, co-working spaces, residents and TV lounge, and a spacious waterfront garden courtyard.

With a contractor appointed, to facilitate the start of works, a historic ornate gateway will be dismantled brick-by-brick, stored, and reinstalled at a later date, while the wider site, which includes the former Police Stores Building, will be demolished in the coming months ahead. 

Follow us on Twitter & on Instagram for more development updates.

Lancaster Wharf, images from Select Property Group.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
12 May 2022 - Your Place Your Space
Inspiration

The Gothic on Great Hampton Street - just look at the detail in this wonderful redevelopment!

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Work at The Gothic on Great Hampton Street is now well underway.  Let's take a look at the attention being given to retain the wonderful original victorian features of this famous Birmingham landmark.

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At The Gothic on Great Hampton Street, a Grade II listed building dating back to the late 1870s, there is so much to take in and admire now that internal work on a number of magnificent homes is underway.

During 2020 and 2021, before work commenced and early in Cordia Blackswan's redevelopment of this wonderful building, we had the pleasure of visiting this Victorian Gem to see the treasures that had remained hidden for so long.

 

The windows of The Gothic - back in 2020/21

Of all the wonderful Gems to admire, both inside and outside, it was The Gothic's amazing windows which, for us, stole the show!

We marvelled at the craftmanship and passion that had gone into the structural shapes of these wonderful windows. 

See the full article from July 2021 here...

 

And now - as the windows are going in (May 2022)

In May 2022, we were invited back to take a look at how work was progressing with the redevelopment, and most importantly for us, to see what had been done to those wonderful arched windows.

We have not been disappointed!

 

What about all that wonderful timber!

It's not just the windows though, take a look at the way much of the exquisite timber has been brought back to life and is on full display.

Here's what it was looking like pre-renovation.  What a great job done!

 

And now - wonderful wooden beams on show (May 2022)

Some of the original steel roof structure has also been incorporated into the restoration.

 

Go see for yourself!

What wonderful talking points they are for anyone fortunate enough to take ownership of one of these wonderful homes, 

Cordia Blackswan and the team are doing an absolutely brilliant job with the redevelopment of the building into a number of elegantly styled homes.

To find out more about the Gothic:

Homes For Sale Birmingham | The Gothic | Cordia Blackswan

Email enquiry@cordiablackswan.co.uk

 

You can't help but love The Gothic!

Here's a few more photos to enjoy, taken during our visit in May 2022.

Photography by Daniel Sturley, a member of the It's Your Build team.

 

For more on The Gothic and the work on Great Hampton Street go to:

www.GreatHamptonStreet.com

 

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70 passion points
History & heritage
11 May 2022 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is (partially) open again - the visit of 7th May 2022

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It has been closed for a long time. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery partially reopened (five galleries) on the 28th April 2022. It closed during the pandemic, briefly reopened October 2020, then again (lockdowns etc). Then re-wiring works. The Round Room has We Are Birmingham, Industrial Gallery has Black history and nightclub history. Also one room on local cinema history.

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Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery reopened on the 28th April 2022. I didn't visit over the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend, but instead popped in a weekend later on Saturday 7th May 2022 (coming back from Cineworld and the Library of Birmingham).

The approach from Centenary Way into Chamberlain Square, at Paradise Birmingham (103 Colmore Row behind). Entrance of course to BM & AG from Chamberlain Square.

BM & AG

We Are Open. Heading to the double doors of BM & AG, the Chamberlain Square entrance.

BM & AG

The ground floor entrance room is empty, but has 'Welcome to Museum & Art Gallery Birmingham' signs on panels around it. Seen here from the stairs heading down to the Chamberlain Square exit.

BM & AG

BM & AG

The stairs leads up to Level 2. There is a new Directory of what is open now, and what will be in Gas Hall (when it reopens on the 14th May 2022).

Round Room - Don't Settle: We Are Birmingham

1. Shop

2. Industrial Gallery - Birmingham Music Archive: In The Que

Fierce: SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea

Kalaboration Arts: Blacklash: Racism and the Struggle for Self-Defence

3. Gallery
Flatpack Projects: Wonderland

4. Edwardian Tearooms

8. Bridge Gallery - Collection Stories

10. Gallery
Unprecedented Times

BM & AG

 

Round Room - Don't Settle: We Are Birmingham

Sir Jacob Epstein's Lucifer statue is the only original piece to return to the Round Room. The walls have been painted a cream colour, and their is an exhibition on called We Are Birmingham.

BMAG

We Are Birmingham: Our Journeys - The Past is Now.

BMAG

An image of Selfridges on the right.

BMAG

We Are Birmingham: Our City. As well as Cold War Steve's Birmingham collage, their is black & white photos on the wall of Indian families.

BMAG

We Are Birmingham: Our Joy. Indian related objects and a bicycle.

BMAG

Heading back into the Round Room from the Bridge Gallery.

BMAG

 

1. Shop

From the Round Room to the Industrial Gallery. Plenty of gifts to buy here.

BMAG

The walkway above the Industrial Gallery was open, and found this view through a grill to the shop below (and Round Room beyond that).

BMAG

 

2. Industrial Gallery: Birmingham Music Archive and Blacklash

There is several exhibitions located in the Industrial Gallery. Coming in from the Round Room, on the left is: 'Birmingham Music Archive: In The Que'. On the right is: 'Fierce: SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea' and 'Kalaboration Arts: Blacklash: Racism and the Struggle for Self-Defence'.

Industrial Gallery

You can head up the stairs to the upper level, but there is no objects upstairs, but there is tables to sit down on, study etc. The African exhibits including Blacklash are on the left, while In The Que (nightclubs) is on the right. This view towards the Shop and Round Room.

Industrial Gallery

Some of the tables with benches that you can sit on. There used to be Ruskin pottery up here (or it used to be on the side near the stairs). I'm sure it will all be back one day in the future.

Industrial Gallery

This view towards Wonderland in Gallery 3. With In The Que (left) and Blacklash (right) below.

Industrial Gallery

 

Birmingham Music Archive: In The Que

The exhibit on the left hand side of the Industrial Gallery is currated by Birmingham Music Archive, and is called 'In the Que'. Que Club posters from the 1990s.

Industrial Gallery

Heading in, there is a display of magazine articles. Que Here - Lifestyle.

Industrial Gallery

QUE in big colourful letters, plus some black and white photos from the nighclub.

Industrial Gallery


 

Kalaboration Arts: Blacklash: Racism and the Struggle for Self-Defence

In the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter movement during 2020. A history of Black protests and marches. Some posters as you head into the Industrial Gallery.

Industrial Gallery

No Justice No Peace! The visit of Malcolm X to Smethwick in the 1960s. Black People Alliance. Also the Asian Youth Movement in the 1980s.

Industrial Gallery

African drums and spears. Some objects used at demonstrations. 'No Justice - Just Us!'

Industrial Gallery

There was more posters under the stairs.

Industrial Gallery

 


Fierce: SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea

The second Afro themed exhibition. This bit about the Empire Korero on May 25th 1918. Various costumes and something about Good Captain Cook Day.

Industrial Gallery

The entrance to the SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea seen from above.

Industrial Gallery

The stairs between the SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea and Blacklash exhibitions.

Industrial Gallery

A quick look at the SaVage K'Lub Va Tamatea exhibition on passing it by.

Industrial Gallery

 

Gallery 3: Flatpack Projects: Wonderland

Located in the gallery between the Industrial Gallery and the Edwardian Tearoom is a Birmingham Cinema's themed exhibit called Wonderland, run by Flatpack Projects.

BM & AG

Wonderland is Birmingham's Cinema Stories. Sign seen from the Industrial Gallery.

BM & AG

Cinemas closed for months during 2020, briefly reopened in the summer, then closed again, bookended by two lockdowns, and then the tiered restrictions. They only reopened without closing again during Spring 2021 last year.

BM & AG

Cinema related objects in glass cases to the left, and near the Edwardian Tearoom entrance.

BM & AG

Pictures on the wall of Birmingham cinema's including some that have closed a long time ago.

BM & AG

This section below focuses on The Electric Cinema on Station Street.

BM & AG

The Xmas Crackers sign. I remember seeing it on a visit to The Electric, early in 2020 (few months before the first lockdown).

BM & AG

Three red cinema seats. Was only an hour or so after I'd left Cineworld on Broad Street before I go to this exhibition.

BM & AG

 

4. Edwardian Tearooms

After well over two years, you can now pop into the Edwardian Tearooms again. Buy your food and drink, cash or card is accepted. Plenty of tables like before. Access through Gallery 3 (currently Wonderland) via the large doors on the left (or right).

Edwardian Tearooms

The galleries above are closed, with no objects on display.

Edwardian Tearooms

 

8. Bridge Gallery - Collection Stories

You can either head into the Industrial Gallery first, or into the Bridge Gallery. Where they have objects from the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre under the title 'Collection Stories'. Just past through under the 'ART GALLERY EXTENSION AND FEENEY GALLERIS A.D. 1912' sign, and the blue plaque (for Bertha Ryland, unveiled back in 2018 by the Birmingham Civic Society).

BMAG

Art on the walls of the Bridge Gallery, some objects in glass cases.

BMAG

No entry to the Birmingham History Galleries upstairs, as it's closed, and the objects are still in storage, as the re-wiring works hasn't finished yet.

BMAG

In front of the stairs, and near the small cafe, is Souvenir 9 (Queen Victoria). Was made in 2019 by Hew Locke, and acquired for the City by the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

BMAG

 

Gallery 10: Unprecedented Times

Since the Museum & Art Gallery had been closed from 2020, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, various local artists had painted or created the art on display here. Art in response to being on lockdown. During the two lost years of the museum being closed.

BMAG

This small gallery is just beyond the Bridge Gallery to the right, and nothing else beyond here is open at the moment.

BMAG

The red shutter at the end was closed, as BM & AG still has a lot of work to do to re-wire the whole building.

BMAG

The steps to the Gas Hall & Exit was closed also. But I suspect it will reopen on the 14th May 2022, when an exhibit at the Gas Hall called 'Found Cities, Lost Objects, Women in the City' opens.

BMAG

Photography by Elliott Brown

 

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
10 May 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Camp Hill Gardens: Demolition Well Advanced

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Demolition is well advanced at 193 Camp Hill, a long-standing industrial site once home to Sulzer.

The major placemaking scheme will positively rejuvenate the site with 563 new homes across six new buildings ranging from three to 26 storeys, establishing 'Camp Hill Gardens'.

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The site will be developed by Goodstone Living, the UK build-to-rent (BTR) property arm of Australian mega-company, Macquarie Asset Management, for its first BTR development.

The placemaking scheme will revitalise the former industrial site with 563 apartments and townhouses across six new buildings varying between three to 26-storeys, all centred around one acre of private garden space.

The new community will benefit from a new public realm, with amenities including a rooftop bar and terraces, private dining, a fitness zone, a nursery, private gardens, and public commercial and business spaces, further nurturing Digbeth's live-work-play ethos.

Be sure to watch the development with us (Buildsweare & Itsyourbirmingham).

Camp Hill Gardens, CGIs from Darling Associates; demolition images from Stephen Giles.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
05 May 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Chapmans Yard: 111 Apartments & Duplexes For Upper Gough Street

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A long-anticipated planning application for 111 apartments and duplex townhouses on a long-term car park site, has been submitted.

The proposal to redevelop Upper Gough Street Car Park comes from Rainier Developments.

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Chapmans Yard would effectively infill a long-term car park site with an 'I'-shaped block featuring 111 one- and two-bedroom apartments spread over five to seven storeys.

The brownfield site, long lost to demolition during the mid-20th century when the site once housed dense back-to-back and terraced housing, would re-introduce new frontages to both Upper Gough Street and Chapmans Passage for the first time in a generation.

Formed around two internal private courtyard spaces, the new community is set to benefit from biodiverse roofs, secure storage for c. 56 cycles, and a fifth-floor amenity space offering exercise spaces and views across the city.



Recognising the major new office and residential developments coming forward in the vicinity, Chapmans Yard proposes a healthy mix of 56 one- and 50 two-bedroom apartments (1-4 persons), alongside 5 two-bedroom duplexe townhouses to cater to every lifestyle.

This would be supplemented by a pedestrianised thoroughfare to Chapmans Passage, (eventually) stitching together the fabric of the street to provide fluid access to the historic Peace Gardens.

Chapmans Yard - images from Corstorphine+Wright, Itsyourbuild, and Google Maps.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
04 May 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

155-room hotel planned for Grade II listed Central Hall

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Stunning revived plans show how Birmingham’s historic Methodist Central Hall will be revived into a sustainable and viable new hotel, bar, restaraunt, and leisure destination.

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Oakmount (*Creative Cedar Ltd*) plans to turn this grand old building into a flagship new c.155 bedroom hotel, operated by their own Press Up Hospitality Group, along with a viability-boosting rooftop extension that will include a Sophie's restaurant and bar.

The hotel-led destination also includes a full restoration of the Central Hall auditorium into a stunning new 1500-capacity event space to become one of the city’s premier event spaces.

Grade II* listed and built in 1904, the largely vacant and derelict building is currently on a Heritage at Risk Register and has seen a plethora of commercially unviable plans fail to materialise over the years.

It is to be rebranded as The Dean Birmingham.

A 'Creative Cedar' Power Gym, a traditional barber's, meeting rooms, and 'The Dalton Club' - a members club/ cocktail bar - will be among the vibrant new public-friendly bars, restaurants, and leisure brands available at basement and ground floor levels.

The project will create roughly 291 full-time jobs and will become Creative Cedar's first UK location.

 
PROJECT TEAM:
Developer: Oakmount (*Creative Cedar Ltd*) 
Architect: TODD Architects
Operator: Press Up Hospitality Group (Part of Creative Cedar)
Structural Engineer: Heyne Tillett Steel
MEP Engineer: Semple McKillop
Interior Designer: O'Donnell O'Neill
Fire Engineer: Sweco
Access Consultant: RLB
Acoustics: Anderson Acoustics
Planning Consultant: SLR Consulting

The Dean Birmingham, images from TODD Architects.

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20 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
04 May 2022 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The return of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch to Centenary Square after almost 5 years!

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It's been a long time in waiting, but William Bloye's 1939 statue of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch is back. Now located in Centenary Square next to Symphony Hall. They were formerly on what was part of Broad Street from 1956 until 2017. By then the land behind them was Arena Central, and they had to move for Library Tram Stop. Back in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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The history of the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue by William Bloye

The gilded bronze statue of Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch was by the sculptors William Bloye and Raymond Forbes-Kings and it stood on a plinth of Portland stone, (formerly) outside the old Register Office on Broad Street in Birmingham (later the House of Sport after the Register Office moved to Holliday Street).

It is known locally as The Golden Boys after its colour, or The Carpet Salesmen after the partially-rolled-up plan of a steam engine which they are examining.  

All three men were members of the Lunar Society.  

Sponsored by an £8,000 bequest from Richard Wheatley in 1939, and £7,500 from the City Council, it was unveiled in 1956, from preliminary designs drawn up in 1938.  

The statue was restored and re-gilded, and replaced in its old position in September 2006. 

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

 

Views of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch in 2009

While I initally first took the statue on my first digital camera around April 2009, by the time I got my first bridge camera in June 2009, I headed to Broad Street, and took the follow photos below outside of the House of Sport. This was only about 3 years after the bronze statue had been re-gilded in 2006, now making it shiny and golden!

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

 

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch from 2011 to 2017

More occasional photos in the years following my initial shots of the statues, such as when the Library of Birmingham opened, or when Arena Central started.

January 2011 - a (then) new information sign about the statue, and details about Matthew Boulton, James Watt & William Murdoch.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

July 2013 - red flowers were planted in front of the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue on what was then still a part of Broad Street.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

September 2013 - the Library of Birmingham is now open, and at the time, a view down to the Bouton, Watt & Murdoch statue, still surrounded by red flowers.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

April 2015 - early work begins to fence of the House of Sport (the old Birmingham Register Office) on Broad Street. As Arena Central got underway, but Boulton, Watt & Murdoch remained in place. Traffic was being diverted onto Bridge Street.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

May 2015 - Hoardings had gone up in front of the House of Sport ahead of it's demolition later in 2015. But you could still see the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

October 2015 - demolition on the former Register Office / House of Sport was well underway, just a section near Bridge Street to come down. You could still get close up to the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue at the time.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

November 2015 - a view from the Library of Birmingham. DSM Demolition had a lot of rubble to clear of the House of Sport, while scaffolding had gone up the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statues to protect them.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

April 2016 - by this point the demolition behind Boulton, Watt & Murdoch had been complete, and it was now the site of One Arena Central. Library of Birmingham view.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

There was plant machinery in front of the statue.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

And there was a temporary path between Arena Central and where Boulton, Watt & Murdoch were.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

February 2017 - a night shot of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch from Centenary Square. You could now see views to the hotels behind including Crowne Plaza and the newly built Holiday Inn Express (TETRIS building) at Arena Central.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

April 2017 - a rear view of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch, taken from Bridge Street, looking over Arena Central towards the Library of Birmingham.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

August 2017 - the last views of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch for 5 years before they went into storage. One Arena Central hoardings still behind them, and Midland Metro Alliance hoardings in front of them.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

A daylight view towards Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express. This was my last actual photo of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch for almost 5 years (before they went into storage). This view on the 10th August 2017, the statue was removed on the 23rd August 2017 (ahead of the building of the Westside Metro extension). Library Tram Stop would open on their old spot by December 2019.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

 

Return of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch - late April 2022

While the Portland stone plinth was back in place by St George's Day, the actual gold covered bronze statue was lowered into place on the 29th April 2022. Just in time for the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend. Although there is still fences around it, and more paving work to do. As well as the installation of a future plaque, about Boulton, Watt & Murdoch's slavery links (post Black Lives Matter).

With Library Tram Stop (opened end of 2019).

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Seen outside of Symphony Hall, their new home.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

With the Library of Birmingham.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Lookig towards Paradise Birmingham.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Looking towards HSBC UK - One Centenary Square and The Exchange | University of Birmingham at Arena Central.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Looking towards Three Arena Central (One Arena Central aka Five Centenary Square still hasn't been built yet).

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Looking towards the Hyatt Regency Birmingham and near the new foyer of Symphony Hall.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

The view of Centenary Square on the 30th April 2022. Boulton & Watt & Murdoch now join The ICC, Symphony Hall, The REP, Library of Birmingham, Baskerville House and Hall of Memory. As well as Library Tram Stop.

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

From the other side of Centenary Square in this wide panoramic (centred on the Library of Birmingham). Bit hard to see Boulton, Watt & Murdoch but they are on the far left near Symphony Hall, while Edward VII is near Baskerville House. From HSBC UK to the old Copthorne Hotel (which will be demolished in the next few years).

Boulton, Watt & Murdoch

Welcome back lads, you have been missed!

For other monuments of Matthew Boulton, James Watt & William Murdoch, see the post on St Mary's Church, Handsworth.

Photography by Elliott Brown

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100 passion points
Construction & regeneration
02 May 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Queens Hospital, Public Consultation Launched.

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A public consultation has been launched for the future of Queens Hospital Close, Bath Row.

Plans proposed could see the site rejuvenated to offer 650 purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), 180 build-to-rent apartments (BTR), and the conversion of two Grade II* listed properties.

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A 31-storey tower with 650 purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) units, 180 build-to-rent apartments within seven and 10-storey buildings, and the conversion of the site's two western Grade II* listed buildings into a publicly accessible gym and café are among the plans proposed, allowing for a new neighbourhood to thrive.



New courtyards and private landscaped canal-side areas would serve as private green spaces for future tenants and students, offering pleasant green spaces in the city centre.

The listed buildings, which formerly housed the Queens Hospital, would be integrated into the wider development to become a true focal point of a new community.

The western building would be opened up to the public to include a café and gym, as well as a bike store with resident workspaces. The eastern building could facilitate high-quality graduate accommodation (as seen below).

EXISTING EAST BLOCK:

EXISTING WEST BLOCK:

Have your say

You can share your feedback by:

We ask that you share your feedback by Wednesday 18th May.

Queens Hospital Close, images: www.queenshospitalclose.co.uk.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
30 Apr 2022 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - March/April 2022 Update

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Visable progress at One Centenary Way.

Upper floors now await windows, external lifts have been installed and all the steel work is complete.

This post includes some great photos of this prominent build. 

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One Centenary Way - Construction update (March and April 2022)

8th March 2022

26th March 2022

16th April 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

There are now over 750 photos of the construction of this building and can be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: One Centenary Way Full Construction Gallery

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100 passion points
Construction & regeneration
28 Apr 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Key Hill Town End Urban Village: Approved

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Exciting plans for a major mixed-use urban village regeneration scheme spread across two plots in the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area have been approved.

PCPT Architects has gained consent to transform the site into a vibrant – and viable – new residential and commercial quarter.

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With plans unaminously approved, all existing listed buildings at Key Hill Town End will be preserved, restored, and reused for future generations to saviour. 

New build elements will also be delivered to offer a total of 62 studios, one to three-bedroom apartments, townhouses, duplexes, and ground floor commercial units.

KEY HILL TOWN END

40% of Key Hill Town End is situated at 17-21 Hockley Hill – home to 1913-built, Gem Buildings, a Grade-II* listed building to be refurbished to provide 16 loft studios & duplex apartments; and the 1824-built, Harry Smith Buildings – three integrated buildings set to retain its commercial studios with six apartments above.

The remaining 60% resides over the road on Key Hill Drive, and these would see new builds and refurbishments.

These include the demolition of 54-58 Key Hill, which will be replaced with 23 apartments with commercial, courtyard, and a communal roof terrace; 1-2 Key Hill Drive: new build and refurbished elements to offer 13 apartments; and 3-4 Key Hill Drive: two refurbished former Victorian houses into two houses and two studios.

The development will provide spaces for 9 cars and 65 cycles.

AFFORDABLE WORKSPACE & PUBLIC REALM IMPROVEMENTS

PCPT has agreed that 50 per cent of the commercial floor space, equating to 5,022K SF, will be made available to the creative industries.

In addition, around £60,000 will be put towards Public Open Space improvements - namely improvements to nearby Key Hill cemetery.

Key Hill Town End, images from PCPT Architects and Google Maps.

Follow Buildsweare on Twitter & Itsyourbirmingham on Instagram for updates.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
28 Apr 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Murdoch and Pitman to be revived into a 156-bed aparthotel!

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The historic Grade II*-listed 1898 Murdoch and Pitman Chambers, at 153-161 Corporation Street, is to form a major brand new 156-bed aparthotel scheme, complete with a restaurant/bar, gym, and meeting rooms.

Plans were unaminously approved.

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Starting life as a hotel and vegetarian restaurant that once played host to Indian independence campaigner Mahatma Gandhi, Murdoch and Pitman Chambers is to be refurbished and converted into 28-bedrooms, complete with a new 11-storey offering an additional 128-bedrooms to the rear.

Creating up to 70 new jobs, the building will receive new and improved shopfronts and entrance doors, as well as window frames and terracotta sculpture and dry rot repairs. All modern fittings will be removed and all original features reinstated (chimneypieces, cornices, doors).

Boosting viability, a set-back cuboid-esque 11-storey terracotta extension comprising an additional 128 bedrooms, developed in response to the major constraints that hamper the site, will be built to the rear, separated by a glazed link.

These constraints include limited access (as seen below) and its close proximity to nearby court buildings.

Facilities will include a restaurant/ bar, a gymnasium, and meeting rooms. 

To facilitate construction works the part-demolition of a rear four-storey wing of the Pitman Building will need to be undertaken.

Earlier this year, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) agreed in principle to make an investment to kickstart the scheme. A hotel operator has not yet been announced.

These plans have been brought forward by MP Devco Ltd - a concoction of Czero Developments, Trigram Properties, and Regal Property Group - with BPN Architects and Donald Insall Associates.

Murdoch and Pitman Chambers, images from BPN Architects & Donald Insall Associates.

Follow Buildsweare on Twitter & Itsyourbirmingham on Instagram for updates.

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20 passion points
Squares and public spaces
28 Apr 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Giant England flag on the Town Hall for St George's Day 2022

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On St George's Day 23rd April 2022, for one day only, a giant England flag was on the side of Birmingham Town Hall in Victoria Square. In the morning Team England were there ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Closer to the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend now, but enjoy these photos from St George's Day.

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St George's Day 23rd April 2022 in Victoria Square

 

Walking up Pinfold Street into Victoria Square on the 23rd April 2022, you could see the giant England flag on the Town Hall. This view with the Iron: Man (returned to the square in February 2022) and the Queen Victoria statue. Sadly no trams as they are out of service (and they only test the new trams to Broad Street on Monday's and Wednesday's).

Town Hall

 

Heading over to the Council House with this view of the England flag in Victoria Square.

Town Hall

 

Inspired by a Jack Babbington photo I'd seen earlier that day on Twitter, a shot of the reinstated Floozie in the Jacuzzi (back earlier in April 2022) with the giant England flag on the Town Hall.

Town Hall

 

Around the back of the Council House via Eden Place and Edmund Street to Chamberlain Square. This view to the left of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (due to reopen on the 28th April 2022).

Town Hall

Have a nice May Day Bank Holiday weekend.

Photography by Elliott Brown

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60 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
28 Apr 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Annatomix fox at Wylde Green Station

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I was first aware that Annatomix had painted her trademark orange fox at Wylde Green Station, during June 2021. Took me a while, but returned to Sutton Coldfield at midday on Sunday 24th April 2022. Walked down from the Town Centre to the Highbridge Road Bridge. Down the steps, and the art was in an alcove behind the steps and wall.

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Getting to Sutton Coldfield

I was going to get the 13:06 from platform 8A at Birmingham New Street Station, but it was running 10 minutes late on the 24th April 2022. The first Class 323 from Redditch ended up terminating there, but an announcement told passengers to go to platform 7A, so over the bridge to the other side, and another Class 323 arrived for 13:16 from Soho Depot.

Arriving at Sutton Coldfield Station, I first popped to Costa Coffee at the Gracechurch Centre, before walking down the Birmingham Road towards Wylde Green Station. I left Birmingham Road at Jockey Road. The wrong bridge over the Cross City Line, but found a shortcut via Wilkinson Close to Highbridge Road.

 

Annatomix fox at Wylde Green Station

Down the steps towards platform 1 (trains towards Four Oaks and Lichfield Trent Valley). I could see the Annatomix fox over the steps as I headed down.

Annatomix fox Wylde Green Station

 

In the alcove at the back, below the Highbridge Road Bridge in Wylde Green is the Annatomix fox.

Annatomix fox Wylde Green Station

 

The fox and the steps. To get back to Birmingham New Street though, went back up these steps, and over the other steps to platform 2.

Annatomix fox Wylde Green Station

 

Now on the path to platform 2, a view of the Annatomix fox and the steps to / from platform 1.

Annatomix fox Wylde Green Station

 

There is high fences either side of the railway, but the fox street art is just about visible from the path.

Annatomix fox Wylde Green Station

 

I somehow timed my arrival at Wylde Green Station as my train back to Birmingham New Street was arriving at platform 2. The Class 323 got a bit of shadow here, and you can see the fox by Annatomix on the far left.

Annatomix fox Wylde Green

 

Retook West Midlands Railway 323213, the lighting was better on the second attempt. Bit hard to see the Annatomix fox now.

Annatomix fox Wylde Green

 

There is a new thing from the Soho Depot called "Soho Bingo", the train I got is now named Sutton Coldfield. I think the game works if you get the name of the train at the station of the same name. But I did earlier arrive at Sutton Coldfield Station.

Annatomix fox Wylde Green

Photography by Elliott Brown

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70 passion points
People & community
27 Apr 2022 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Kings Heath - Take a tour with us!

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Birmingham has much more to offer than its magnificent city centre. There are some fascinating places to experience out in the neighbourhoods. Here's a look at Kings Heath. From Sarehole Mill (Moseley / Hall Green) via Moseley Golf Club and Billesley. On the Kings Heath High Street from the Hare & Hounds to the library. Via Highbury Hall & Park etc.

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How to get to Kings Heath?

We are actually starting this tour well outside of Kings Heath on the Moseley  / Hall Green border. Catch the 11A, 11C or no 5 bus to Cole Bank Road and start your walk from Sarehole Mill. You can also cycle here if you want to. Get the train to Hall Green Station, then walk down Cole Bank Road to Sarehole Mill.

If you feel that you can't do all the walk in one go, just get the bus to the next section. The 11C gets you to Kings Heath.

 

Sarehole Mill

Sarehole Mill is located on Cole Bank Road in what was the hamlet of Sarehole. It now falls between Moseley and Hall Green. The current mill was built in 1771. But had been a mill on this site since 1542. It is known for it's association with J. R. R. Tolkien, who as a child lived in a house round the corner on Wake Green Road. The mill was in use until 1919. It was taken over and restored by Birmingham City Council in 1969, and has been run by the Birmingham Museums Trust since 2012. There has been further restorations since then including the Bake House in 2019-20, where they now bake pizza, which you can eat in the courtyard. There is also a tea room on site, as well as the mill pond to the back.

 

Leaving the mill behind, next walk up Swanshurst Lane to Swanshurst Park.

 

Swanshurst Park

Swanhurst Park is between Moseley and Billesley on Swanhurst Lane, Yardley Wood Road and Brook Lane, and is centred around the Moseley New Pool. At certain times of the year Zippos Circus can be found in the park, usually around April. The park has also in the past been known to have a fun fair on the same site. To the far end of the park is Billesley Community Fire Station at the corner of Yardley Wood Road and Brook Lane.

Swanshurst Park

 

Leave the park at Yardley Wood Road, then walk up Coldbath Road towards Billesley. Then turn onto Brook Lane, you will see a Kings Heath sign near The Billesley public house. Continue until you go onto Springfield Road and to Moseley Golf Club.

 

Moseley Golf Club

Where Moseley Golf Club is now, was in the 19th century, Billesley Hall Farm. Which was built on the site of a medieval house called Burley Hall. Founded in September 1892, Moseley Golf Club is the oldest golf club in Birmingham. The old farm buildings now form part of the club's buildings and is used to house the steward and caterer. The club bought the freehold of the course in 1919.

Moseley Golf Club

 

From Springfield Road, next head to Institute Road. Stop for coffee at Costa Coffee. Or other venues on the Kings Heath High Street. Turn right towards the Hare & Hounds pub.

 

Hare & Hounds

The Hare & Hounds is a Grade II listed building, dating to 1907 on the corner of York Road and the Kings Heath High Street. Built of red brick with red terracotta dressings, tiled roof, polished granite plinth. UB40 first gigged here on the 9th February 1979. 

Hare & Hounds

 

From York Road head onto Waterloo Road, South Road, Grange Road and to Avenue Road to get to Kings Heath Park.

 

Kings Heath Park

Kings Heath Park is on Vicrage Road and Avenue Road in Kings Heath. The park was originally called Victoria Park, centred on a house dating to 1832. John Cartland bought it in 1880 (he was an ancestor of the famous romance novelist Dame Barbara Cartland).  The house and park became part of Birmingham in 1911, and has been developed since then.

Kings Heath Park

 

Leave the park at the main entrance at Vicarage Road, then turn right towards King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools.

 

King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools

Founded at Camp Hill in 1883, King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys moved to the Vicarage Road site in Kings Heath during 1956, followed by King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls in 1958. The ground the school covers stretches to Cartland Road. The land was owned by the Cartland family from 1880 until the 1900s.

King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools

 

After checking out King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools, next head down Cartland Road, turn onto Pineapple Road. Cross over the junction with Dad's Lane, and head onto Shutlock Lane and into Highbury Park.

 

Highbury Park

Highbury Park was the estate of Joseph Chamberlain who lived at Highbury Hall from 1880 until his death in 1914. The park opened to the public in 1930. There is entrances from Moor Green Lane, Shutlock Lane (Dad's Lane) and the Kings Heath High Street.

Highbury Park

 

Make your way to the back of the park and find the paths that leads to the former gardens of Highbury Hall, once home to Joseph Chamberlain.

 

Highbury Hall

Highbury Hall was built for Joseph Chamberlain between 1878-79, and he lived here from 1880 until his death in 1914. The hall is now managed by the Chamberlain Highbury Trust, who are having the hall and grounds restored. Entrance from Yew Tree Road, but you can get to the house from the back via Chamberlain Gardens in Highbury Park.

 

Back via Highbury Park, take the paths to the gatehouse at Moor Green Lane and Yew Tree Road. Then walk past the front of Highbury Hall on Yew Tree Road and then go onto Queensbridge Road. Some properties down here were Cadbury related. Back to the Kings Heath High Street, pass the main entrance to Highbury Park, and shortly pass the site of Kings Heath Station, and you will pass Kings Heath Library.

 

Kings Heath Library

Kings Heath Library was built in 1905 for the then King's Norton & Northfield Urban District Council. Funds were provided by Andrew Carnegie. The library became part of Birmingham from 1911. The building was extended later in the 20th century.

Kings Heath Library

 

Walk down the High Street, and on the other side you will see The Kingsway, a former cinema, now just a facade, but with the rear now used as an outdoor market, and occasional outdoor cinema space.

 

The Kingsway

The Kingsway opened in 1925, and was a cinema until 1980. It was converted into an Essoldo bingo club, a use it still retained in later years as a Gala Bingo Club, which was closed in 2007. The empty building was badly damaged by a fire which occurred early in the morning on 17th September 2011. Work began on demolishing the building in mid-March 2018. The façade has been saved. It is now Outdoor at the Kingsway (with an occasional open air market and outside cinema).

The Kingsway

 

End your tour continuing to walk down the Kings Heath High Street near the shops. For buses there is the 35 or 50, as well as the 27, 11A, 11C or the 76. A good place to end your tour is at Kings Heath Village Square near All Saints Church.

 

All Saints Church

The parish church of Kings Heath was built as an Anglican church, starting in 1859-60. A spire was added in 1866. The north aisle added in 1883 and the west end was enlarged in 1899. It is a Grade II listed building. Kings Heath Village Square opened outside of the church in 2011, in what was the churchyard of All Saints.

All Saints Church

Head onto the path near All Saints Church, passing the war memorial, you are now in Kings Heath Village Square, where you will end your trail.

 

Kings Heath Village Square

Kings Heath Village Square was developed out of the churchyard of All Saints Church in Kings Heath and was opened in October 2011. Close to the junction of Vicarage Road and High Street in Kings Heath. There is a Farmers Market about once a month in the square on the first Saturday of the month.

Kings Heath Village Square

 

Photos by Elliott Brown

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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
27 Apr 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of The Square on Broad Street - April 2022 - Update Two

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Cortland Broad Street's concrete core is huge! It currently sits on floor 34, just short of its maximum height.

The lower levels of the 35-storey residential tower are also progressing, now up to level 5/6, with its six-storey lower extension now climbing above the hoardings on Ryland Street.

Lots of construction images here in this April Part 2 update.

Related

3rd April 2022

7th April 2022

8th April 2022

11th April 2022

13th April 2022

17th April 2022

26th April 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

Image kindly taken by Kingsheathen.

There are now nearly 200 photos of the construction of this building, and these can now be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: The Square, Broad Street - Full Construction Photo Gallery

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110 passion points
Construction & regeneration
27 Apr 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

Demolition and Site Prep for Octagon at Paradise Birmingham

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Demolition is well underway at 77 Paradise Circus. The building's roof and supports have now been fully dismantled, and a long reacher is now on site to quickly demolish the body. 

Take a look at our article for a full reverse photo journey of the building from February 2021, to the present day.

Related

25th September 2021

21st February 2022

23rd February 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

26th February 2022

Photography by Stephen Giles.

8th March 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

26th March 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

28th March 2022

Image from Paradise Birmingham webcam.

5th April 2022

8th April 2022

12th April 2022

20th April 2022

Photography by Daniel Sturley.

26 April 2022

Image from Paradise Birmingham webcam.

Octagon; ©Glenn Howells Architects.

There are now nearly 100 photos of the demolition and site preparation for this building, which can be seen in reverse date order in our full gallery here: One The Octagon Full Construction Gallery

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90 passion points
Classic Architecture
27 Apr 2022 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The Samuel Heath Building

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The Samuel Heath Building now a protected listed building - Wonderful photography of this great building of historic importance from Stephen Hartland of the Victorian Society (West Midlands). 

Enjoy! 

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Photography by Stephen Hartland

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100 passion points
Construction & regeneration
27 Apr 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Queens Hospital Close Site Set For Major Mixed-Use Development

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An Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Request has been submitted for the upcoming redevelopment of Queens Hospital Close, Bath Row - with builds ranging from seven, up to 30 storeys.

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The proposal would see two new 'u-shaped' blocks erected on site (yellow and green), replacing five existing 90s-built student accommodation buildings, with up to 179 build-to-rent (BTR) apartments, in a new 7-10 storey new build, and up to 766 purpose-built student accommodation within a 7-c.30 storey tower. 

The existing site also includes two Grade II* listed properties (pink) that make up the Birmingham Accident Hospital (East Block and West Block). These highly significant heritage buildings are to be retained, refurbished, and converted to become a historic focal point of the new scheme.

These eagerly awaited plans are expected to be submitted by late May onwards.

The project is being brought forward by Tiger Developments, Aventicum, and renowned architect, Chapman Taylor, with consultancy from Turley.

EXISTING STUDENT ACCOMMODATION:

EAST BLOCK (Block D):

Proposed uses for East Building look set to facilitate high-quality student graduate accommodation. 

WEST BLOCK (Block C):

West Block has scope to be converted into a communal mixed-use building that could feasibly house a market space.

Queens Hospital Close, images courtesy of Turley; Oosoom, Wikipedia.

Follow: Buildsweare on Twitter & Itsyourbirmingham on Instagram for updates.

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20 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
12 Apr 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Return of the Floozie in the Jacuzzi after six months in storage

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In the autumn of 2021, work began to restore the River and Youth fountains in Victoria Square. By October 2021 the Floozie in the Jacuzzi was removed to storage (The River) as well as the other statue (The Youth). As of early April 2022, the Floozie is back, but as of yet, the fountains haven't been turned on, as workmen are working round the clock to get it finished.

Related

If you want to see our existing Floozie in the Jacuzzi posts, click the links below:

Floozie post, November 2020

Floozie post, September 2019

 

River and Youth, 1993 by Dhruva Mistry was installed during the 1992-94 works to regenerate Victoria Square (it was opened by the late Diana, Princess of Wales). The Floozie in the Jacuzzi is the bronze female statue at the top known as 'The River', while the pair of children at the bottom was 'The Youth'.

 

September 2021

Fences start to go around the River and Youth stepped area, with the Floozie still at the top.

Floozie in the Jacuzzi

 

October 2021

The last time that you could see the Floozie in the Jacuzzi was back in October 2021. Days after this, she would be removed to storage. This was also before the return of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market in November. The Floozie getting one last bath from the rain.

Floozie in the Jacuzzi

 

December 2021

Last few days of 2021, and there is now scaffolding and a white plastic wrap around the site of River and Youth. The bronze statues are now in storage for a couple of months now. Colourful hoardings up with the Be Bold Be Birmingham slogan, and facts about the Floozie in the Jacuzzi, ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Floozie in the Jacuzzi

Floozie in the Jacuzzi

 

January 2022

Still the white plastic wraps and scaffolding around the River and Youth site in Victoria Square, as well as the Be Bold Be Birmingham hoardings, as work continues to repair the fountain, that has been leaking on and off since 2008.

Floozie in the Jacuzzi

 

April 2022

On April Fools Day, the basin of The River, has days to wait before the goddess returns to sit in her beloved bath. The stone balls and the basin of the upper pool are visible again, but there is still fences around the site.

Floozie in the Jacuzzi

 

She is back! On the 7th April 2022, the Floozie is back in her Jacuzzi! But the site is still a Public Realm works site, and workmen are still putting the finishing touches to the repairs. But we don't yet know when they will turn the fountain back on. Lets hope it never leaks again! While 'The River' is back, 'The Youth' part of the sculpture has not yet been reinstalled in the lower basin.

Floozie in the Jacuzzi

Floozie in the Jacuzzi

Floozie in the Jacuzzi

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
11 Apr 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of South Central - April 2022

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South Central, a new 28-storey at the corner of Essex Street, is well underway - and we've snapped progress from the air.

With piling done, a crane is being installed on a site that will soon deliver high-quality living spaces, a tram-inspired facade, a commercial unit, and a crowning rooftop terrace.

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South Central is a 28-storey new build of 154 apartments & a ground-floor commercial unit.

With Wates progressing well on site, the Essex Street Properties Ltd development, designed by Glancy Nicholls, is subject to an additional two storeys and twelve apartments, taking the city's latest tower up to 30 floors and 166 apartments.

With a clear aspiration for a necklace of well-designed talls extending from Belgrave Middleway up to the Holloway Head island, South Central will become the first of many.

Designed with an elegantly curved tram-inspired terracotta façade, the building will offer a selection of one to three-bedroom apartments, with a double-height commercial unit on Bristol Street.

Soon-to-be-enjoyed facilities for residents include a double-height ground-floor entrance, with reception, foyer, parcel, and post areas. A concierge, community room, and cycle storage space - including a workshop - for 76 bicycles, will also be provided.

The crowning feature, however, will be its spacious roof terrace, complete with an open-air sky garden that will feature spaces for socialising, relaxing, and even taking part in yoga classes. There will also be space for a dedicated rooftop cinema experience.

..and as the site is a tight old affair, we flew overhead to capture the constrained site:

Images taken on April 8, from Stephen Giles.

All images are the property of Essex Street Properties Ltd/ Glancy Nicholls Architects.

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20 passion points
People & community
11 Apr 2022 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Northfield - Take a tour with us!

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Birmingham has much more to offer than its magnificent city centre. There are some fascinating places to experience out in the neighbourhoods. Here's a look at Northfield. Well worth a visit. For history, there's St Laurence's Church and the Great Stone. Victoria Common is a great open space and not far away is Manor Farm Park.

Take our article.

Related

How to get to Northfield?

Take the no 61 or 63 bus from Birmingham and travel along Bristol Road South to Northfield High Street; catch a train on the Cross City Line to Northfield station; or take a cycle ride which will take in some great sights along the canal.

If travelling by train, we recommend you buy a ticket in advance using the West Midlands Railway app and you will get a QR code to scan at the ticket gates at Birmingham New Street. Paper tickets are still available to buy at the automatic ticket machines or at staffed ticket desks.

The train takes a scenic route via Five Ways, Birmingham University, Selly Oak and Bournville, before arriving at Northfield. Some sections of this run alongside the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

 

Northfield Station

Welcome to Northfield Station. You get off the train at Platform 4. Head towards the exit via the subway. You can either take the exit towards Station Road, or via the subway head to the station building and exit at Copse Close via Quarry Lane.

Take the Station Road exit if you want to head to the old Northfield Village, where you will find St Laurence's Church and the Great Stone Inn.

From Station Road, walk up to Church Hill Road. Walk under the railway bridge, until you get to St Laurence's Church.

 

St Laurence's Church

St Laurence's Church has origins going back to the 12th century, with elements dating from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. The church is part of a conservation area.

The last major change to the church took place in the year 1900, when G F Bodley built the north aisle in the 14th century style.

The major 13th century feature is the chancel. The south chancel and lower stage of the west tower also dates to the 13th Century.

A 4 bay octagonal pier arcade at the south chancel dates to the 14th Century.

The upper tower was built during the 15th Century.

The roof is most likely a 15th century replacement of an earlier 13th century nave roof.

The church has Royal Arms from the Hanoverian period. The church was built of sandstone.

St Laurence's Church, Northfield

After the church, it is a short distance to the Great Stone Inn and the Village Pound, at the corner of Church Hill and Church Road.

 

The Great Stone and the Village Pound

The Great Stone Inn is an historic public house at the corner of Church Hill and Church Road.

The Inn probably dates back to the 18th century. 

It is a timber-framed building with painted brick and a tile roof.

The Inn is close to St Laurence Church in the historic old Northfield village. It is now a traditional pub with a beer garden run by Great Pubs.

The Great Stone

A few meters away on Church Road is The Village Pound, and the current location of the historic Great Stone which the Inn was named after.

Dating back to the 17th century, The Village Pound was a high walled structure used to keep livestock in, such as stray cattle, pigs and sheep.

The Village Pound is now the home of the Great Stone, moved by Birmingham City Council to this site in 1954. It is a glacial bolder formed in a volcanic eruption 450 - 460 million years ago. 

For generations The Great Stone was at the corner of Church Road and Church Hill in Northfield, where it protected the Inn wall. A glacial erratic bolder that was former in an explosive volcanic eruption during the Ordovician period, 450-460 million years ago. During the ice age, possibly up to 400,000 years ago, it was carried by an ice sheet from the Snowdon area of North Wales and deposited with many others around Northfield when the area was a frozen wasteland.

Birmingham City Council moved the boulder to this site in 1954 for road safety reasons.

Village Pound

Next, we recommend taking a short walk up Church Road towards Great Stone Road.

Cross over the road at the traffic lights, then walk towards Northfield Library.

Walk up Meeting House Lane to get into Victoria Common Recreation Ground.

 

Victoria Common

This is a great recreation ground hidden behind Northfield Shopping Centre.

You will find playgrounds and tennis courts here plus paths for walking. There's plenty of green open spaces to enjoy.

Victoria Common

After your walk round Victoria Common head to the path that leads to the Bristol Road South, and walk down Northfield High Street for a bit of retail therapy. 

You can alternatively walk down Sir Herbert Austin Way and pop into the Starbucks Coffee Drive Thru. Alternatively, there are many cafes and places to eat in Northfield.

If you fancy a meal in a traditional pub, in addition to the Great Stone Inn, there's The Black Horse located on Bristol Road South (near Frankley Beeches Road).

 

The Black Horse

The Black Horse opened on the 1st December1929  and was designed for the Davenport Brewery,by Francis Goldsbrough (from the local architectural practice of Bateman and Bateman).

The Black Horse is one of the largest and finest examples of a Brewer’s Tudor-style public house in the country.

It was registered a Grade II listed building in 1981. JD Wetherspoon refurbished the pub in May 2010. 

The Black Horse

If you are not too full, next have a walk to Ley Hill Park. Leave the Black Horse, and head past Sainsbury's via Sir Herbert Austin Way. Or if you had a toastie or panini with your coffee at Starbucks, you just have to walk up Vineyard Road, past Bellfield Junior School. The park is at the top of the hill.

 

Ley Hill Park

You can enter this park from the entrance at Merritt's Brook Lane. Take any path you want for your walk, or walk onto the grass if it's not too wet. Head up to the top of the hill for views down to the Northfield High Street.

There is a play area, plus benches to sit on.

You can exit the park at Merritt's Hill and walk down the road towards Brookside.

Now head into Merritt's Brook Greenway, and walk along the path, following the Merritt's Brook towards Bell Hill. Cross over the road at the traffic lights near Whitehill Lane and enter Manor Farm Park.

 

Manor Farm Park

This park was once the home of George and Elizabeth Cadbury, who lived at the Northfield Manor House (until their respective deaths).

The park opened to the public in 1951.

Follow the paths around the park with a 2 kilometre walking route. See our suggested trail HERE.

You will walk past a lake. The Manor House is nearby. The park also has a play area and old farm buildings. 

If you exit near the lake at New House Farm Drive, perhaps have a detour up to the Northfield Manor House? Just walk until you get to Manor House Drive.

 

Northfield Manor House

The original house was built in the early 1800s.

George Cadbury purchased the property in 1890, and he moved in with his wife Elizabeth in 1894.

They named it Manor Farm.

The lived here until his death in 1922 and her's in 1951.

The University of Birmingham took it over, and converted it into a hall of residence from 1958, but it ceased this function by 2007.

Years of dereliction lead to arsonists (teenagers) burning it down in 2014.

Partial demolition in 2015, followed by a full restoration between 2019 and 2021.

The Manor House, Northfield

Head down Manor House Drive, back onto New House Farm Drive and onto Bristol Road South.

Leave the park at Bristol Road South. A short walk away is another property once owned by George Cadbury. This is the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.

 

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

A house called The Woodlands was built on this site around 1840.

It was later to become one of George Cadbury's homes, who in 1907 gave it to the then named "Cripples Children's Union".

After various mergers, what has now become known as the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, was firmly based on this site.

At one point they had an Outpatients Department on Broad Street at Islington House (this lasted until the end of the 20th century). One of the surgeons based here was Mr Naughton Dunn (from 1913 to 1939), who was a national pioneer and Birmingham's first orthopaedic specialist.

The hospital has been part of the NHS since it's founding in 1948.

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

We hope you enjoyed this tour of Northfield. 

If you have return tickets on the train, walk back to Northfield Station. Alternatively, head to a bus stop on Bristol Road South. If getting a bus, we recommend that you have a Swift card, and buy your ticket at National Express West Midlands in advance. Otherwise, you will need to pay a cash fare, or use contactless. Alternatively, you can have the NXWM app and buy your ticket on there. Bus routes include the 20, 61 and 63 from National Express West Midlands or the 144 from First Midland Red.

Photography by Elliott Brown

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80 passion points
Construction & regeneration
07 Apr 2022 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Lead Works 12-Storey Aparthotel Approved

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LEAD WORKS - Approval has been granted today (April 7) to transform a car park site with a new 12-storey aparthotel.

The site, located at the corner of Tennant Street and Granville Street, lies immediately off Broad Street.

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Designed by local practice, Glancy Nicholls Architects, Lead Works pays homage to the site's previous use as a Lead Mill in 1890 by featuring a largely red brick building, with a recessed teal glazed entrance, vertical banding, and titanium windows.

A new public bar and restaurant will be featured at ground floor level, with a mezzanine gallery lounge and 198-bedroom accommodation on the upper floors, in addition to new paving and greenery to the site's frontage. 

Revitalising and densifying a long-term car park, the site is currently owned by Lee Longlands - but they intend to sell the site to assist in their long-mooted plans to relocate their business elsewhere in the city.

Approved 8-0, these plans have been brought forward by Soller Group, Glancy Nicholls Architects, and PJ Planning.

All artist's impressions are the property of Glancy Nicholls Architects

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