Art; Culture & creativity
22 hours ago - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

A Nightmare on Central Street - Halloween at the Bullring, October 2021

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You might be able to see scary things day and night down Central Street aka St Martin's Walk at the Bullring, this Halloween (25th to 31st October 2021). A Nightmare on Central Street. If you are lucky you might be able to spot the tentacles of sea monsters above the malls.

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It's a Nightmare on Central Street at Bullring & Grand Central Birmingham from the 25th to 31st October 2021. During Birmingham's October Half Term, can you hunt down and find scary creatures? Day or night?

Get you camera ready and share with Birmingham We Are.

Follow the link above to the official Bullring website for more information.

 

Photo below taken on Sunday 24th October 2021, from the steps heading down to St Martin's Square. Blue and green tentacles cower above the bronze statue of Horatio Nelson, days after the 216th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Halloween Bullring 2021

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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Squares and public spaces
23 Oct 2021 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

The return after two years of Ice Skate Birmingham and the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

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Apologies for the lack of posts of late, I've been busy with work and my holiday photos from the West Country.

Ice Skate Birmingham is back in Centenary Square, photos taken on the 16th October 2021.

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is back in Victoria Square, photos taken on the 23rd October 2021.

Both due to open around early November 2021.

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Ice Skate Birmingham

Photos taken on Saturday 16th October 2021. Ice Skate Birmingham will open in Centenary Square, on the 4th November 2021, and will remain open until 9th January 2022. So far we can only see the Birmingham Big Wheel (ferris wheel) and the covered ice rink. New to the scene is the rising One Centenary Way, and the new foyer of Symphony Hall.

Ice Skate Birmingham

Ice Skate Birmingham

Ice Skate Birmingham

Ice Skate Birmingham

Ice Skate Birmingham

 

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

Photos taken on Saturday 23rd October 2021. The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market returning to Victoria Square (and New Street). As well as Bob Wilson's Carousel. It is due to open on the 4th November 2021, and will close on the 23rd December 2021. But will be a little bit smaller this time around. The Floozie has gone away (for repairs) but new to the scene is 103 Colmore Row.

BFCM

BFCM

BFCM

BFCM

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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Classic Architecture
17 Oct 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House - enjoy our visit shared with you!

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The purpose built Bournville Quaker Meeting House on Lindon Road, Bournville was completed in 1905 to the designs of William Alexander Harvey as part of the Bournville Village Trust, a Trust created by the Cadbury family.

Enjoy this article and photography with us.

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In 1879, Cadbury's relocated their factory from central Birmingham to their new site to the south of the city, now known as Bournville Village.

Following the opening of the new factory in 1879, George Cadbury built a number of houses for key workers close to the factory.

The Bournville Village Trust was established in 1900 and the purpose built Quaker Meeting House was built in 1905 to the designs of William Alexander Harvey.

Internal changes to the meeting room carried out in 1935 included the removal of the rostrum; the replacement of a platform; and the removal of panelling within the arch of the south hall.

An extension was built in 1960 for a children's room with a smaller library and cloakrooms. This was designed by Selby Clewer, the chief architect of the Bournville Village Trust. The library was opened in 1988 to make a lobby area, and the main hall was re-roofed, internal front doors were added, and ancillary facilities were reconfigured.

You enter the House through the green doors.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

As you go in to the building there is a pair of black and white portrait photographs of Dame Elizabeth Cadbury (1858 - 1951) and her husband George Cadbury (1839 - 1922).

Outside of the Friends Meeting House is a bronze bust of George and his ashes were buried there following his death.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

There is also a plaque to celebrate the planting of a Cedar Tree outside the buiding on the 24th June 1948 by Elizabeth Mary Cadbury during the year of her 90th birthday. This has now grown into the tree that is wrapped with Christmas lights between November and January each year.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

The house is a magnificent space similar in design to Bournville Village Primary School which was also designed by architect William Alexander Harvey.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

A roll of memory contains some of the Cadbury family and a number of other Quaker's who have passed away.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

A wonderful organ and clock can be found above the door.

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

Outside is the Cedar Tree, on this occasion used to announce "Quakers for Climate Justice".

Bournville Quaker Friends Meeting House

We hope you enjoyed our post with greaat photography from Elliott Brown.

More posts and features and a map of City Gems can be found at www.BirminghamGems.com

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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100 passion points
Construction & regeneration
14 Oct 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Green light for 438 homes at Belgrave Village

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Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital have been granted planning permission for a landmark residential development of 438 homes on a long-vacant site in Balsall Heath.
 

 

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TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

The joint venture – their fifth major Birmingham development – will now see the creation of a high-quality urban environment comprising 438 homes & a new green linear park.

The site, once occupied by Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College, fronts Belgrave Middleway and Haden Way and is bounded by Sherbourne Road and Balsall Heath Road.

With councillors voting through the plans, the site will now see 14 residential blocks within a mixture of 112 townhouses and 62 adjoining apartments.

Two apartment buildings of 4-7 & 4-12 storeys, containing 264 one & two-bedroom units, will be built at strategic positions overlooking Belgrave Middleway and Haden Circus.

219 one & 107 two-bed apartments along with 38 two, 62 three, and 12 four-bedroom houses, will be established in total – with 44 (10%) affordable units allocated.

Crucially, the outward-looking development, designed by Chetwoods Architects, will feature attractive private and shared courtyards, as well as a new public green linear park to complement the variety of low-rise townhouses and apartment blocks.

Two access points will be formed via Haden Way and Sherbourne Road, with parking for 263 cars alongside 17 motorcycle spaces and spaces for 670 cycles.

All artists impressions are the property of Chetwoods Architects.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
13 Oct 2021 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

Introducing: Affinity Living Lancaster Wharf

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Select Property Group's Vita student accommodation brand will now be bringing forward this consented site of 266 apartments on Princip Street, Gun Quarter.

All set for a 2022 launch. Watch this space for more!

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Delivering a prominent new focal point to the Gun Quarter, with active ground floor frontages, set around a green landscaping strategy that seamlessly integrates with the adjacent canal system, the scheme will soon offer premium communal facilities unrivalled in the student sector.

Artists impressions from Select Property Group/ Corstorphine+Wright.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
12 Oct 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

85 New Homes For Price Street, Gun Quarter

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Elevate Property Group are seeking the go-ahead to transform 51-61 Price Street with the delivery of 85 apartments – as well as a 3m high artwork structure.

Plans are recommended for approval and will be discussed at committee on October 14.

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The dilapidated site will largely be demolished, with the exception of locally-listed Gunsmith House – which will be retained & converted into 3 apartments – and replaced with three 4-5 storey new builds set around a landscaped courtyard ‘oasis’.

Designed to give the look of three differing buildings, the site, which will feature two dual aspect rear wings and a range of energy-saving measures, will deliver 34 one, 44 two & 4 three-bedroom apartments, in sizes ranging from 39 to a very healthy 115 sq.m.

A communal lounge is set to be created, with many units having the added benefit of a balcony or terrace space.

The gem of the site, however, is unquestionably the heritage asset, Gunsmith House (below). The building is to be refurbished and a new roof installed to deliver 3 units across all floors.

Gunsmith House: image from Stephen Giles/ October 2, 2021.

C. 85 cycle spaces (100%) are to be allocated, as well as a small car park for seven to the rear of Gunsmith House. 5 affordable apartments at 50% of market value have also been agreed upon and will be provided.

** The site was recently occupied by 4 gunmakers involved in the making of various components of sporting guns. The former owner (Laybrook) has since moved them into adjoining listed buildings on Loveday Street, also in their ownership, thus safeguarding their future for years to come.

Rear courtyard: brickwork colour has since been altered.

EXISTING SITE

Existing site: overhead shots from Harris Lamb.

Artists impressions are the property of K4 Architects.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Classic Architecture
09 Oct 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Bournville Parish Church: St Francis of Assisi - enjoy our visit shared with you!

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Bournville Parish Church: St Francis of Assisi was opened in 1925, 3 years after the death of George Cadbury who had always wanted an Anglican church in the Bournville village. The church was designed by William Alexander Harvey. The South Chapel was built in 1966.

Enjoy this post and photography by Elliott Brown taken during Birmingham's Heritage Week (September 2021).

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The church is located on Linden Road.

Despite being a Quaker, George Cadbury had always wanted an Anglican church to be built in Bournville. The Hall was built in 1913 and the church followed in 1925. 

The South Chapel was opened in 1966 by Laurence and Joyce Cadbury in memory of their children, Julian, Anthea and Lindsay.

Here are some exterior photos of the church.

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Now inside the church.

The ceiling inside St Francis of Assisi Church in Bournville is in the style that William Alexander Harvey was noted for.

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

Here is the pulpit inside the church.

Bournville Parish Church

Here is the alterpiece inside the church.

Bournville Parish Church

Next to the alterpiece is the organ.

Bournville Parish Church

There is a stained glass window in memory of Lt. John Barclay who was killed flying from H.M.S. Seahawk on 11th March 1953, aged just 24.

Bournville Parish Church

The South Chapel opened in 1966 by Laurence and Joyce Cadbury in memory of their children, Julian, Anthea and Lindsay (who all sadly died very young).

Alexander Lindsay Aitkin Turner (1927 - 1964) aged 37, Anthea Karen Turner (1936 - 1964) aged 28  and Julian St. John Cadbury (1926 - 1950) aged 24.

Bournville Parish Church

Bournville Parish Church

We hope you enjoyed our post.

More posts and features and a map of City Gems can be found at www.BirminghamGems.com

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
08 Oct 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Belgrave Village: 438 new homes set for go-ahead

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Major new plans to regenerate a long-vacant site at the corner of Belgrave Middleway and Haden Way have been recommended for approval.

Plans for Belgrave Village will be discussed at planning committee on Thursday, October 14, at 11 am.

Related
TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham
 
 

This Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital joint venture – their fifth major Birmingham development – would deliver a high-quality new urban environment with the delivery of 438 homes & a new green linear park.

Should the distinctive new plans receive the nod next week (October 14), the major scheme would see 14 residential blocks containing a mixture of 112 townhouses and 62 adjoining apartments.

Two apartment buildings, comprising 264 one & two-bedroom units, would also give rise to 4-7 and 4-12 storeys at strategic positions overlooking Belgrave Middleway and Haden Circus.

In total, the development proposes 219 one & 107 two-bed apartments along with 38 two, 62 three, and 12 four-bedroom houses – with 44 (10%) affordable units.

Crucially, the outward-looking development, designed by Chetwoods Architects, would feature attractive private and shared courtyards, as well as a new public green linear park to complement the mixture of low-rise townhouses and apartment blocks.

With two new access points created via Haden Way and Sherbourne Road, parking for 263 cars is to be provided alongside 17 motorcycle spaces and spaces for 670 cycles.

GALLIARD APSLEY PARTNERSHIP

The Galliard and Apsley partnership is firmly established in Birmingham. 

Having already completed B1 Birmingham for DWP, residential schemes at Soho Wharf – the largest Birmingham development today, and The Timber Yard in the Gay Village, are all advanced in their respective construction stage, with St. Paul’s Quarter, in the Jewellery Quarter, just around the corner.

All artists impressions are the property of Chetwoods Architects.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
07 Oct 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Digbeth Scheme Set For Approval

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10m Group are seeking the go-ahead to regenerate 215 Bradford Street with the development of Sapphire Court, a 6-8 storey new build comprising 166 homes.           

Plans have been recommended for approval and will be discussed at committee on October 14.

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TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

Brought forward by the same team developing Apex Lofts, next door, Sapphire Court lies within the emerging Rea Valley Urban Quarter neighbourhood that openly supports well-designed, sustainable resi-led regeneration with a strong insistence on greenery.

H-shaped in design, Sapphire Court would facilitate two new entrances onto Warwick Street & Bradford Street, the formation of two large communal gardens & a carefully considered residential mix of 68 one & 98 two-bedroom apartments (1-4 persons), including 18 spacious duplexes.

Predominately a car-free affair, the scheme would include 166 cycle spaces (100%), all within a vertical stacking system in the site's courtyard.

17 apartments have been agreed and are to be provided for low-cost home ownership at 20% discount on market value.

The existing site, containing three mismatched buildings (Sapphire Conference and Banqueting Suite; a single-storey brick build; and a two-storey clothing manufacturing building) would be demolished and relocated for the scheme to commence.

10m Group and the architects, Corstorphine + Wright, are also well advanced in its Apex Lofts project, next door - as seen at the bottom of the page.

Plans are recommended for approval and will be discussed at committee on October 14, at 11 am.

Apex Lofts - also from 10m Group & Corstorphine+Wright; image from Stephen Giles, October 2021.

All artists impressions are the property of Corstorphine + Wright.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
05 Oct 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

The Square, Broad Street: Demolition complete; construction imminent

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Construction is imminent at The Square, Broad Street, after the successful demolition of fourteen terraced blocks.

The two-phase redevelopment will kick off with a 6-35 storey residential tower, closely followed by a new 8-storey hotel.

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INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

Elford Demolition & Remediation began strip out works in July before the bulldozers moved in to demolish 14 terraced blocks of up to four storeys and, as the IYB drone image shows, the site is now demolished and inching ever closer towards being construction ready.

Before works can begin, however, a condition to planning approval is the submission of a contaminated remediation scheme - now submitted, awaiting approval.

Once given the green light to proceed, the Principal Contractor of the project, The RG Group, will build The Square out in two phases.

Phase 1, contracted to a build-to-rent operator, will begin with a 6-35-storey tower (110.85m), before an 8-storey hotel is built in Phase 2 – but only once an operator has formally signed up.

OVERVIEW:

Phase 1: 440 (1-3 bed) apartments (4 affordable) within a 6-35 storey tower, alongside a one-storey shared podium & a generous landscaped garden.

The shared podium will offer secure unparalleled access to a host of top-of-the-range internal and external amenities, including: a 200m running track in the courtyard; wellbeing, work & meeting facilities; gym & café space; cinema and party room; a crèche; and dining and lounge areas.

Additional amenities are to be provided at the top of the tower with the introduction of a tenant’s club.

Phase 2: An 8-storey, 229-bed 3* hotel – currently in talks with prospective tenants.

The hotel will, like the residential element, provide flexible ground floor commercial and private external space within the courtyard.

C.168 cycle spaces will serve the development along with the addition of 4 EV (electric vehicle) bays. C.40 new trees will be planted as part of landscaping works to mitigate the loss of 7 trees as part of the demolition.

DEVELOPER: 2020 Living Ltd (Taylor Grange Developments)
ARCHITECTS: Corstorphone + Wright
PRINCIPAL DESIGNER: Construction CDM
PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR: The RG Group
DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR: Elford Demolition and Remediation
QUANTITY SURVEYOR: WT Partnership
STRUCTURAL & CIVIL ENGINEER: Tier Consult
SERVICES ENGINEER: Vitec
LIFT CONSULTANT: KONE Plc
PLANNING CONSULTANT: Delta Planning
VALUE: c.60 Million

All artist impressions are the property of Corstorphine+Wright.

We’ll be providing updates on this new build scheme. Be sure to follow it here with us.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Classic Architecture
02 Oct 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

St Mary's Church, Handsworth - enjoy our visit shared with you!

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St.Mary's Church in Handsworth, Birmingham (also known as Handsworth Old Church) is home to the memorial sculptures of James Watt, Matthew Boulton and William Murdoch. Given its history and the importance it played at the time, it is often referred to as "The Industrial Cathedral of Birmingham". Enjoy this great post from Elliott, a regular Birmingham Gems contributor.

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During the Birmingham Heritage Week, Elliott went along to visit St Mary's Church in Handsworth, easy to get to on the no 16 bus that takes you to Hamstead Road.

It was quiet inside the Grade II listed Anglican church which is built on ten-acre of grounds, located adjacent to Handsworth Park.

The church is the resting place of famous progenitors of the industrial age, James Watt, William Murdoch and Matthew Boulton and has been described as “the Cathedral of the Industrial Revolution”.

Elliott's been waiting two years to get inside of this church, mainly for the memorials to James Watt, Matthew Boulton and William Murdoch.

The church has origins back to the 12th and 13th centuries, although what you see today is a complete rebuild from the 19th century. Architects who worked on the building in the 19th century included William Hollins in 1820, Thomas Rickman in 1826 (the South Chapel built in memory of James Watt), and later J A Chatwin from 1876 to 1880. More recently the roof was repaired during 2019 to 2020.

It is a Grade II* listed building.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

 

Tour of the interior of St Mary's Church, Handsworth

You enter the church from the side door from the churchyard.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

Below stained glass windows is information panels on James Watt and the Industrial Revolution (probably provided by the Birmingham Museums Trust).

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

Down here you will find the monuments to Matthew Boulton, William Murdoch (spelt Murdock) and Joseph Grice. The South Chapel on the right leads to the statue of James Watt.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

The organ.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

Here are two examples of stained glass windows at St Mary's Church, Handsworth.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

St Mary's Church Handsworth

Here's the pulpit.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

And a piano.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

There's somewhere to light candles under a colourful cross.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

The lecturn resembles golden eagles.

St Mary's Church Handsworth

 

Monuments

The marble statue of James Watt (1736 - 1819) is located in the South Chapel. It was sculpted by Francis Legatt Chantrey.

This is currently the only place to see a statue of James Watt in Birmingham (the 1866 statue of James Watt formerly at Chamberlain Square by Alexander Munro has been in storage since 2015).

James Watt St Mary's Handsworth

The Monument to Matthew Boulton (1728 - 1809) is by Flaxman.

Matthew Boulton St Marys Handsworth

The Monument to William Murdoch (spelt here as Murdock) (1754 - 1839) was also by Flaxman.

William Murdock St Marys Handsworth

There is also a marble bust of William Murdoch in the cafe area (just behind a TV). A childrens book about James Watt was on the left.

William Murdoch

Other memorials here include this one to Joseph Grice Esquire.

Joseph Grice

Also there is a memorial/monument to Sarah Russell, and later her husband John Russell.

Sarah Russell

Also to be found here are these tombs.  A medieval armoured soldier and below him another one.

Tomb St Marys Handsworth

There was also this tomb of a couple found close to the area with the monuments to Boulton, Watt & Murdoch.

Tomb St Marys Handsworth

We hope you enjoyed this informative post and photography.  The full feature on St. Mary's Church can be found HERE.

More posts and features and a map of City Gems can be found at www.BirminghamGems.com

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
30 Sep 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Major Selly Oak Student Scheme Approved!

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Watkins Jones Group has been granted approval to develop a canalside site in Selly Oak with sustainable purpose-built student accommodation containing 523 bedrooms.

After two years’ worth of engagement, plans were duly approved 9 - 1 today (September 30).

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TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham
 
 

Set around a large central courtyard, and a galvanised canal, Glenn Howells’ BREAAM ‘excellent’ scheme will open the site up with the formation of two new buildings.

11 four-storey townhouses will be built along Elliott Road, while a main 4-6 storey building will wrap around three sides of the site, with the scheme combining 388 cluster bedrooms and 135 studios, including 14 accessible studios beds.

With an attractive green focus throughout, the scheme underlines its high sustainability credentials by delivering a spacious 2,500 sq.m centralised courtyard garden & additional space overlooking the canal - offering students plenty of space to study or unwind.

Other facilities include a gymnasium, study areas, and lounges.

A car-free scheme, cycle storage spaces for 176 will be provided to encourage sustainable travel.

IMPROVEMENTS

Largely vacant units 5-8 of Selly Oak Industrial Estate will now be demolished as part of redevelopment works, boosting the area with major investment and opening the site up for the first time in years. 

Revolution Gymnastics currently reside within one of the units but are well advanced in their search for similarly-sized premises elsewhere in the city. A condition is in place that development cannot commence here without them being adequately relocated.

Once demolished, the site will undergo crucial new improvements to the canal towpath, as well as to the Bristol Road bridge.

This will see the towpaths widened, with increased visibility and new lighting – ultimately bringing new prosperity to the canal and its new area of public realm.

With a CIL payment of c.800K, other works could see £60,000 of S106 funding going to Birmingham City Council to deliver improvements to Selly Oak Park.

It is estimated that this new scheme could see as much as £2.6m injected into the local economy through spending from future occupiers of the development.

EXISTING SITE - Image from Glenn Howells Architects.

All images are the property of Glenn Howells Architects & Layer.Studio.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Sep 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - September Update

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One Centenary Way is now starting to really look massive and is creeping up into view from many spots around the city centre. Loads of photos in this gallery covering the construction of this building from 4th to 25th September.

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4th September

20th September

25th September

Photography by Daniel Sturley

There are now nearly 400 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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40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
27 Sep 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Plans arrive for second phase of £700m Paradise development

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Three planning applications for the remaining Phase 2 plots at the £700m Paradise redevelopment have arrived, and it features:

  • A 10-storey, office building, Three Chamberlain Square;
  • 17-storey hotel, One Ratcliff Square;
  • and a cohesive new public realm.

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TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

The next phase from developer MEPC, the development arm of Hermes, which took over from Argent in July, includes a 17-storey hotel at the south western corner & an adjacent 10-storey office building, Three Chamberlain Square, fronting Paradise Street.

A series of public squares and new pedestrian routes will also be created through the development, designed by world-renowned landscaping firm Grant Associates.

Statues of chemist Joseph Priestly and steam engineer designed James Watt will return and will take pride of place in the area.

17-STOREY HOTEL: ONE RATCLIFF SQUARE

This landmark hotel, designed by hotel specialists ISA Architecture and Glenn Howells, will feature 152 standard, family and penthouse accommodation, with ground floor food and beverage offerings, and a panoramic sky bar with covered terrace offering views across Birmingham.

With the desire to create a truly mixed-use destination at Paradise, bringing together hotel, leisure, commercial & public spaces, the building features a confident, fluted facade that clearly distinguishes itself from the neighbouring office buildings.

THREE CHAMBERLAIN SQUARE

Three Chamberlain Square, the new 180,000 sq ft office building, has been designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios to offer not only a high quality contemporary interpretation of its historic surroundings but also to become one the most sustainable commercial spaces ever brought forward in the region.

With aspirations to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’, the 10-storey building will deliver a desirable office environment (21,450 sq.m), whereby health, sustainability and wellbeing will be firmly at its core.

Ground floor will include bustling ground floor offerings, with winter gardens and terraces from level 2 and above; as well as a basement level for 266 cycles and changing facilities for occupiers.

PUBLIC REALM

Ratcliffe Passage, Western Terrace and, as mentioned, Ratcliff Square, will become the new public spaces to be created.

Creating a cohesive pedestrian experience across the area, this will again be designed by world-renowned landscaping firm, Grant Associates, who also completed Paradise Phase One.

Artists' Impressions from Glenn Howells Architects, ISA Architecture, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios & Grant Associates.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Sep 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Major Selly Oak Student Scheme Set For Backing

Post image

Watkins Jones Group is seeking the go-ahead to demolish units 5-8 at Selly Oak Industrial Estate and develop the site with purpose-built student accommodation totalling 523 bedrooms.

Plans have been recommended for approval and will be reviewed at committee on September 30.

Related
TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

Set around a landscaped central courtyard, and a galvanised canal, Glenn Howells Architects’ designed scheme would bring the site back to life with the formation of two buildings.

11 four-storey townhouses would be built along Elliott Road, while a main 4-6 storey building would wrap around three sides of the site, with its main entrance close to the rejuvenated canal.

The scheme combines 388 cluster bedrooms and 135 studios, including 14 accessible studio bedrooms. 

Boasting a green focus throughout, a large 2,500 sq.m courtyard garden would offer students with a place to study and unwind. An additional strip of landscaped internal communal space is set to overlook the canal.

With the area set to bring new activity and prosperity to the canal and its new area of public realm, other amenities include a gymnasium, study spaces, and lounges. 176 cycle spaces are to be provided.

The companies moving out of the site would be relocated - a process already underway.

Given that Birmingham City Council refused ‘The Triangle’ student scheme – former Sainsbury’s site on Bristol Road – a few months’ back, spearheaded by Weoley & Selly Oak Councillor, Julie Johnson, which is now at appeal, it will be fascinating to see what decision the councillors make regarding a decision here.

Plans are recommended for approval and will be reviewed at committee on September 30, at 11 am.

EXISTING SITE - Image from Glenn Howells Architects.

All images are the property of Glenn Howells Architects & Layer.Studio.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Sep 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of The Mercian - September 2021 - Update Two

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The Mercian is externally complete! A big gallery for this post with photography centred on the 12th September covering up to the 23rd (above). 

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8th September

Photography by Daniel Sturley

11th September

Photography by Elliott Brown

12th September

18th September

19th September

20th September

21st September

23rd September

Photography by Daniel Sturley

There are now nearly 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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60 passion points
Classic Architecture
22 Sep 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Bournville Village Primary School - enjoy our visit shared with you!

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The Birmingham Heritage Week open days were held in Bournville on Saturday 11th September 2021 at about 11 venues. Elliott Brown popped to three venues that day, starting with the Bournville Village Primary School (formerly Bournville Junior School). The school opened in 1906, and celebrated their centenary in 2006. The Carillon was not open, but you could hear the bells ringing.

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Although the Bournville Carillon was not open to the public on Saturday 11th September, you could hear it ringing when getting off the bus on Linden Road. However Bournville Village Primary School was open with an entrance on Woodbrooke Road.

Bournville Village Primary School

Bournville Village Primary School

 

You enter through the doors in the entrance hallway.

Bournville Village Primary School

Bournville Village Primary School

 

The main school hall was designed by William Alexander Harvey and is a truly magnificent space.

Bournville Village Primary School

Bournville Village Primary School

Bournville Village Primary School

 

Just look at the stained glass window unveiled in 2006 on the centenary of the school opening in 1906. It was unveiled by HRH the Duke of Gloucester and is stunning!

Bournville Village Primary School

 

Bournville Village Primary has some great values. 

Bournville Village Primary School

 

There is a black and white photo portrait of the schools founder George Cadbury (1839 - 1922).

Bournville Village Primary School

 

There was also a black and white portrait photo of his wife, Dame Elizabeth Cadbury (1858 - 1951). George married his second wife Elizabeth in 1888 and they celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in 1913. A tablet was placed in the main school hall in 1913 by the residents of Bournville to celebrate the occasion. Sadly George died in 1922, and Elizabeth was a widow for 29 years (until her own death in 1951).

Bournville Village Primary School

 

Through some of the locked doors, you can see corridors to classrooms, and also see the classrooms from the main hall.

Bournville Village Primary School

We hope you enjoyed our post.

More posts and features and a map of City Gems can be found at www.BirminghamGems.com

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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90 passion points
Modern Architecture
20 Sep 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The story behind the new BT Tower logo

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During 2021, Birmingham We Are's regular photographers Elliott Brown and Daniel Sturley have occasionally been getting updates, everytime BT put up a "T" or a "B". Since at least March 2021, one side had a "T". The "B" didn't go up until August 2021 due to nesting peregrine falcons.

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Between February and August 2021, the BT Tower in Birmingham on Lionel Street finally got the the new BT logos attached on both sides of the building.

The "T" on one side together with a circle was put up between February and March 2021. The "B" and the other "T" didn't go up until late August 2021.  This was due to nesting peregrine falcons.

The photography below was taken by Birmingham We Are's regular contributors Daniel Sturley and Elliott Brown.

 

6th February 2021

"Not for everyone" - workers spotted abseiling from the top of the BT Tower.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

24th February 2021

From Edgbaston Reservoir, it wasn't particularly clear to see what they were doing up on the BT Tower but you could spot the BT logo on Three Snowhill from this vantage point.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

2nd March 2021

Pins are put in place for the circle of the logo and the "T" of BT. The "B" pins can just be seen.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

21st March 2021

First blue circle of the logo and a "T" goes into place on one side of the building.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

3rd April 2021

View from the train going past Birmingham Snow Hill Station. This side of the building at the time had a complete blue circle, but only visible pins for the "BT" logo.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

17th April 2021

Still only a lone "T" can be seen from Hill Street near Birmingham New Street Station. With peregrine falcons nesting at the top, BT engineers couldn't return until late August.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

21st April 2021

A close up view from the bottom of the BT Tower from Lionel Street. It's a long way up.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

16th May 2021

Here's a view up the tower from Lionel Street in the Jewellery Quarter, near Ludgate Hill. It would be another three months before they got back up to finish the BT logos.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown..

 

21st June 2021

View of the BT Tower from St Paul's Square with St Paul's Church. At the time, this side of the BT Tower still just had the blue circle.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

14th July 2021

The view of the BT Tower from Ladywood Middleway. Still just the lone "T" from the Ladywood view.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

23rd July 2021

This view is as you come off the M6 motorway, Junction 6 at Spaghetti Junction  (Gravelly Hill Interchange) onto the Aston Expressway, A38(M).  On the skyline you could see The Mercian and the BT Tower (still without a visible "BT" at this point).

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

27th July 2021

A view of the BT Tower from the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal near Ludgate Hill in the Jewellery Quarter.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley..

 

7th August 2021

Scaffolding goes up at the top of the BT Tower and there is now visible ropes from there to the bottom of the tower. Work finally resumes to finish replacing the BT Tower's logo.

BT TowerPhotography by Daniel Sturley.

 

13th August 2021

The Library of Birmingham reopens the Discovery Terrace (Level 3) and Secret Garden (Level 7) to visitors. It was now possible to see the BT Tower from both terraces. This view taken from the Secret Garden. The last time you would see the "T Tower" before the end of the month with Three Snowhill (which already had it's "BT" logos).

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

30th August 2021

In the last weeks of August, engineers returned to the BT Tower to attach the remaining letters to both sides of the building. Some of the scaffolding above had also been removed. This view taken from Great Charles Street Queensway.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

4th September 2021

A quick late afternoon visit to the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham, just before closing provides an opportunity to capture the BT Tower again from up high, now with the completed new logo.

BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

 

11th September 2021

A view from the Isaac Tongue Junction in Northfield at Bell Hill. Near the A38 (Sir Herbert Austin Way and Bristol Road South) of The Bank (tower 2), The Mercian and the BT Tower. A distance of about 6 and a half miles for this photo. The new BT logo only visible on a zoom camera (not with the naked eye from that distance).

Bank Mercian BT TowerPhotography by Elliott Brown.

We hope you enjoyed this post from Birmingham We Are.

See all our wonderful Birmingham Gems at www.BirminghamGems.com  

 

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80 passion points
Civic pride
19 Sep 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

My Trip to Cambridge, September 2021 - Part Two

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Here is the second part of my favorites from my trip to Cambridge in September, graced with a largely sunny day on the 16th. This gallery covers my walk along Trumpington Street and up to Scudamore's Quayside Punting Station by the Magdalene Bridge at Bridge Street.

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The Courtyard at Pembroke College

From Boltoph Lane Towards one of the Towers of Corpus Christi College.

Peter House Chapel

Railings on Trumpington Street

Railings on Trumpington Street

A Spider Hiding in Railings on Trumpington Street

Railings on Trumpington Street

Railings on Trumpington Street

The Fitzwilliam Museum

Lions at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Bicycle Street Art

Street Lamp

Ornate Gate

Beautiful Garden

At the River Cam

Bicycle Shop

Laundress Lane

The Wilkins Building

The Gonville and Caius College

The Great Gate at St john's College

All Saint's Arts and Crafts Market

St John's Street

Love Flags

Bridge Street

The Master's Lodge at St John's College

The Magdalene Bridge Over the River Cam

The Scudamore's Quayside Punting Station

The Scudamore's Quayside Punting Station

An unusual sign

Part three to follow soon...

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20 passion points
Classic Architecture
17 Sep 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Ely Cathedral Visit - 15th September 2021

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I was delighted to experience Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire during a few days in Cambridge City with my mum, taking the train to Ely and walking over to the cathedral, having a wonderful time taking loads of photographs of this amazing Norman building, the interior equally as stunning as the exterior.

Over 30 photos in this gallery post, enjoy!

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Photography by Daniel Sturley

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30 passion points
Civic pride
17 Sep 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

My Trip to Cambridge, September 2021 - Part One

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Here is the first gallery of photography from my trip to Cambridge, more to come soon, the architecture of the city was magical and inspiring and I walked miles getting hundreds of photos to pick from and here is the first batch of the best so far, all except the first (15th) taken on 16th September 2021.

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Cambridge, a Seriously Nice Bicycle - 15th September 2021

Cambridge, a View from Travelodge - 16th September 2021

One of the Spires of King's College Chapel

The Tower of Great St Mary's Church

Great St Mary's Church

Great St Mary's Church

Great St Mary's Church

One of the Spires of King's College Chapel

King's College Chapel

A pigeon on a chimney

The Senate House and the Gonville and Caius College

The Senate House and the Old Schools

The Gate House at King's College

The Gate House at King's College

The Gate House at King's College

The Gate House at King's College with the Wilkins Building Behind

King's College Chapel

The Bronze Model of the Modern City

The Senate House and the Gonville and Caius College

The Gonville and Caius College

The Gonville and Caius College

The Sundial at Caius Court

Senate House Passage

Railings at the Senate House

Trinity Lane Near Clare's College

Trinity Lane Near Clare's College

Trinity Lane Near Clare's College

The Gonville and Caius College

The Gate House at King's College

The Gate House at King's College

The Corpus Clock

The Corpus Clock

Bicycles

The Sundial on St Botolph's Church

Chimneys

The Courtyard at Pembroke College

Part Two to follow soon...

 

 

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
16 Sep 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Major Post Pandemic Office Scheme Approved

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A major post-pandemic office scheme at 40 Upper Gough Street has today been approved by Birmingham City Council's planning committee (September 16th, 2021).

  • 218,000 sq ft of flexible workspace & commercial
  • New east-west pedestrian route
  • State-of-the-art rooftop garden
  • ‘BREEAM Outstanding’ project
  • Related
    TWITTER: Buildsweare
    INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham
     

     

    This two block office destination will now see the delivery of a ‘BREEAM Outstanding’ project offering 218,000 sq ft of flexible workspace, public realm improvements, six commercial units, and a state-of-the-art rooftop garden.

    Brought forward by City Realty Ltd, and driven by Holland Lloyd, Lambert Smith Hampton and Corstorphine + Wright, the plans aim to revive the area by delivering a truly mixed-use district.

    THE SITE

    BUILDINGS 1 & 2

    The main building [1] to Upper Gough Street, a 9-storey influenced by the former façade of St. Thomas Church, will wrap along the street and will feature open plan offices, reception & up to five commercial units around its boundary; while a shared basement will offer vehicular access for 20 from Marshall Street, cycle parking, showers, changing facilities, and a café unit.

    The building also includes a set back upper floor, allowing for a state-of-the-art roof garden boasting panoramic views across Birmingham. 

    The second building [2], a red brick affair influenced by the existing 93-99 Holloway Head - coming forward in Phase 2 - tops out at 10 floors onto Marshall Street and 9-storeys to its western end.

    Its basement level includes a loading bay, plant rooms and one commercial unit, with open plan offices also on the upper levels.

    NEW LANDSCAPED PUBLIC REALM

    To create greater permeability between both buildings, the project introduces an exciting east-west pedestrian route that’ll connect the existing Chapmans Passage with Marshall Street & to St. Thomas’ Church & The Peace Garden - one of Birmingham’s most historic of buildings.

    This new space would then offer the real potential for cafes and restaurants to open up shop here.

    FUTURE PHASE(S)

    All CGIs and renders are the property of Corstorphine+Wright.

    TWITTER: Buildsweare
    INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
10 Sep 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

£30M office 'Enterprise Wharf' well underway

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Lighting progress is being made at Enterprise Wharf, a new £30M addition to Birmingham Innovation Campus - the UK’s largest dedicated digital tech campus, home to over 170 businesses.

Follow the post for an overview of the project and the latest construction images.

Related
TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham
 

Constrution images from Stephen Giles.

Featuring over 120,000 sq. ft of state-of-the-art commercial office space over ten floors, Enterprise Wharf will soon become Birmingham's first smart-enabled building, providing modern, flexible office space designed with digital and tech businesses in mind.

The building will feature a large, open plan reception and collaboration space, showers and kit drying room, an open-air roof garden alongside new outdoor breakout space, landscaping and public realm, including improved access to the adjacent Birmingham and Fazeley canal.

Enterprise Wharf is earmarked for an October 2022 completion.

ARTISTS IMPRESSIONS

All images are the property of Associated Architects.

PROJECT TEAM:

PARTNERS: Bruntwood SciTech (Bruntwood & Legal and General Joint Venture)
ARCHITECTS: Associated Architects
CONTRACTOR: Graham Construction
AGENTS: Avison Young/ Savills
COST MANAGER: RLF
PLANNING CONSULTANT: Turley Planning

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
People & community
07 Sep 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Library of Birmingham ready for volunteers for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

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From the 6th September 2021 until December, people who applied to be volunteers at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games can show up for an interview (if they have been invited). They will go to the Library of Birmingham. The Library Cafe and half of Level 2 have been taken over. Photos taken by Elliott Brown on the 4th September 2021 before closing time.

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Let the Games Begin! Enter via the door at Centenary Square, to what used to be the Library Cafe at the Library of Birmingham.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

 

As you can see Birmingham 2022 has taken over the space of the Library Cafe.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

As well as the Mezzannine floor (which is above the Library Cafe space).

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games banners have been placed inside of the Library foyer area on the ground floor.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

 

Head up the escalators to Level 2. Note that the you might have to walk up the escalator from Level's 1 to 2, or use the lifts.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

 

Be at the Heart of it. If you are applying to be a volunteer, head this way to your interview. Good luck.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

 

Information about the Legacy Programmes and the Queen's Baton Relay. The relay last went into Birmingham's Centenary Square during 2014 (ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games).

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Meet the mascot, Perry the Bull.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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70 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
05 Sep 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

'Gratitude' - A tribute to NHS staff and key workers held in Chamberlain Square, Birmingham

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Elliott Brown, a regular contributor at Birmingham We Are, got chance to experience Gratitude, a tribute to NHS staff and key workers, before it was moved to Manchester. The tribute consisted of 51 sculptures and was curated by creative ambassador Dame Zandra Rhodes.

If you missed the event, don't worry you can still enjoy Elliott's gallery with us here!

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Gratitude was an event held by Wild in Art in Chamberlain Square, at Paradise Birmingham, which ran from the 20th to 30th August 2021. It has now moved on to Manchester and will then move on to Edinburgh and London. It pays tribute to NHS staff and keyworkers during the pandemic.

There were 51 "Lockdown Oscars" displayed in Chamberlain Square close to the Chamberlain Memorial.

The display had mirrors around it and it was curated by creative ambassador Dame Zandra Rhodes.

Gratitude

Gratitude

The gallery below includes 22 photos taken at Gratitude Lockdown Oscars.  Enjoy!

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

'Gratitude' has now moved to St Peter's Square in Manchester.

In Autumn 2021, the sculptures will be auctioned with proceeds going to NHS Charities Together.

Wesleyan was one of the main sponsors of the event.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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110 passion points
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