Darker Nights Return

While West Midlands Police have driven down crime to record lows over the past decade, burglary, robbery and vehicle crime all spike when the clocks go back.

Simply by using a timer on lights and keeping valuables out of sight, police are reminding residents that you don’t have to be a superhero to make a big difference in Digbeth. To support residents’ efforts, officers will be stepping up their usual crime busting efforts including:

  • Encouraging people to join a local Neighbourhoood Watch scheme.
  • Increasing uniformed and plain clothed police patrols for areas identified as potential crime hotspots.
  • Using cars fitted with hidden cameras and silent alarms which alert nearby officer if tampered with will be parked in areas where thieves are known to operate.
  • Turning empty homes into capture houses which spray burglars with invisible ink, record their every movement and alert officers when valuable are taken.

For security tips, safety advice and more information on the new campaign visit www.westmidsheroes.com.

The Archive Paradox

When: Saturday 9th-30th November 2013, performance Thursday 28 November 19:00-20:00
Where: Grand Union, Minerva Works, Fazeley Street, Digbeth

Lindgren & Langlois: The Archive Paradox is a dramatised exchange of letters between two influential film archivists on opposing sides of the debate between preservation and circulation.

Artist Ruth Beale has constructed a narrative from the writing, correspondence and commentators of Ernest Lindgren, the BFI National Film Archive’s first curator who was careful, scientific and restrained by public responsibilities and budgets; and Henri Langlois, the flamboyant and passionate co-founder of the Cinémathèque Française who collected, saved, and screened as widely as possible.

An installation of Beale’s research and drawings will be presented at Grand Union from today, in the lead up to a performance of The Archive Paradox on Thursday 28 November 2013.

For more information about the exhibition, visit the Grand Union website.

Vegan Retail Opportunity at The Warehouse

The current owners of The One Earth Shop are moving on to pastures new, so Birmingham Friends of the Earth are looking for someone else to take on the baton for vegan food in Birmingham.

Image: Flckr user hack man

BFOE have supported a vegan shop at The Warehouse for over 20 years and remain as committed as ever, but they want to be sure that the new tenant have a clear vision of how to encourage more people to enjoy sustainable food.

For that reason, they are asking interested parties to complete and return an expression of interest form, designed to find the best possible tenant for the premises, to phil@birminghamfoe.org.uk before the 30th November 2013.

Birmingham Friends of the Earth is committed to creating positive environmental change and one of the ways that we do this is by having a vegan shop in our building. We want to know a little bit about you, your ethics and your sources of motivation.

Before you fill in the form, BFOE highly recommend that you visit them to see the premises and discuss the possibilities. Contact Phil on 0121 632 6909 to book an appointment.

We look forward to welcoming our new neighbours and a new sustainable shop to Digbeth soon!

Psychobilly Punk

When: Sunday 17th November, 18:00 onwards
Where: The Adam & Eve, Bradford Street, Digbeth
Tickets: £5

Punks Alive present an evening of Psychobilly Punk at the Adam & Eve, featuring the following amazing acts:

  • Retarded Rats
  • The Zipheads
  • Teenage Zombies
  • Dangers Close
  • 13 Shots
  • Magnificatz

All this live music on top of food and a raffle!

Just to get you in the mood, here’s a taster from the fabulous Magnificatz (bear in mind the song starts after the 15-second intro):

Echoes: documentaries for all six senses

When: until 16 November
Where: The Edge, 79-81 Cheapside, Digbeth, B12 0QH
Tickets: free – booking is essential

Echoes continues until Saturday 16th November, but there are only a few opportunities left to immerse yourself in Digbeth’s past. The interactive displays at the exhibition allow the visitors to eat, drink, dress up, listen or just sit back and take in a different era.

Friction Arts visited past and present generations of local families and factory workers and simply listened to their stories. The memories shared shaped the thought-provoking installations, which visitors are encouraged to interact with right from the start when you’re presented with a time card and asked to clock-in.

Friction are very routed in Digbeth, and Birmingham, and will continue to run projects that will live on through Birmingham Central Library’s archive. It’s more about the people than the place.

Although places are free, booking is essential. Click here for more information about the exhibition and to book your place; click here to visit the Birmingham Mail website and see more photos from the exhibition.

Strategic and Economic cases for HS2‏

Please see below for an update from HS2 Community Forums:

Dear Forum Member,

The Strategic Case for HS2 explains why the Government has concluded that HS2 is the best way to meet the challenge of an increasingly overcrowded transport network. It shows how HS2 will transform inter-city travel, radically improve commuter services into London and our other major cities; increase the amount of freight carried by rail as well as supporting economic growth and making a major contribution to rebalancing the economy.

  • The Economic Case is HS2 Ltd’s advice to the Government on the economic case for HS2, setting out the likely value for money of the scheme. It is published alongside and in support of DfT’s strategic case. The Economic Case sets out that:
  • There is a strong case for investment in HS2 – HS2 delivers high value for money and will generate more than £2 for every £1 invested, with a significant chance that returns could be considerably higher than this;
  • The economic case for HS2 is resilient – our results are robust when tested against a wide range of scenarios. HS2 offers ‘high’ value for money in over 75% of scenarios tested – and returns are still positive even when taking a pessimistic view;
  • Our analysis is evidence-based and robust – our analysis is based on the best available evidence, is compliant with necessary standards used for all transport appraisals, and has been independently audited; and
  • The economic case uses cautious assumptions – our analysis uses conservative assumptions. We cap growth in passenger demand 3 years after opening, and we don’t include any potential benefits from rebalancing the economy or regeneration.

Important elements to note for both cases are:

  • The Strategic Case sets our principles for any released capacity assumptions as well as our Assumptions Report (PFM v4.3) which details our released capacity assumptions. I suggest that the two documents be read in conjunction with each other.
  • The BCR is presented with ranges, as opposed to a single a BCR which has been the previous method. This provides different case scenarios and year adjustments to reflect potential ranges of benefits to be derived from the scheme as a whole. This is adjusted annually to reflect updated information, any change in demand modelling, and, in this case, suggestions from the National Audit Office about how to present the business-cost ratio (BCR).
  • Slight adjustments in our service pattern assumptions. Please remember the service pattern set out in these documents are for modelling purposes and do not reflect an agreed timetable.
  • Slight adjustments to certain journey times- This is due to changes in the service specification and impacts from the latest modelling (from August 2013).

You can read the full documents below.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

West Midlands Community & Stakeholder Engagement Team| High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd
Community.Forums@hs2.org.uk | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn
High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd, 2nd Floor, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU | www.hs2.org.uk

Peaky Tours

Well, what an eventful weekend!

Digbeth Residents Association’s Peaky Blinders Tours were by all accounts a huge success, with Digbeth resident Rosie Pocklington guiding 120 visitors around Digbeth’s gangland past.

The tours were featured on BBC Midlands Today on Friday evening, which saw a spike in people joining the waiting list for spaces. As it now stands, there are over 450 people on the waiting list for a tour – a level of demand we certainly weren’t expecting, but a pleasant surprise.

But that’s not all, since then, DRA has featured on the BBC News website and Twitter account (and has been retweeted over 100 times!), the tours were mentioned by the official Twitter of the Peaky Blinders series, and, in a mammoth feat of crossing international borders, the story was also featured in the Irish Sunday Independent!

The response has certainly put Digbeth on the map, but putting media and public interest aside for a moment, the tours have also raised £112.06 for the Birmingham Central Food Bank – a cause close to tour guide Rosie’s heart.

The feedback for the tours has been incredible, and DRA would like to thank everyone for their support, from the press to those who braved the wind and wet to join us for an amble around our neighbourhood. Select quotes from Twitter uses are included below.

DRA will be announcing future tour dates in the new year – click here to join the mydigbeth.co.uk mailing list to be the first to find out when they are!


When: Wednesday 6th November, 13:00-17:30
Tickets: £10 – booking essential

The 2013 engage International Conference takes place this week, and organisers are offering a tour around the independent galleries, artist-led projects and studios clustered in Digbeth.

The tour will allow delegates to engage with the artists and studio holders while they introduce their ethos and share their current exhibitions. The following spaces will be sharing their love of the area and their reasons for choosing Digbeth locations:

Visit the engage website for more information about the tour.

Digbeth Forum

Nechells Ward Councillor Tahir Ali, recently established an advisory group in Digbeth. Digbeth Residents Association are pleased to sit on the Digbeth Forum, which represents the views of businesses and residents.

The Birmingham Mail reported on the main issue for discussion at the first Digbeth Forum meeting: HS2 and its possible effects. The main concern was that the new station could isolate Digbeth and restrict any economic growth. The HS2 proposals as they currently stand would have major implications for connectivity; New Canal Street and Fazeley Street would be closed during the seven-year construction phase, blocking any movement between the city core and Digbeth.

Lucan Gray, owner of the Custard Factory, said: “We are in overall support of the HS2 proposals but our concern is the development could create an impermeable barrier between us and the remainder of the city core. This could seriously affect the economic prosperity and the on-going regeneration of Digbeth and its contribution to Birmingham’s wealth generation and identity.”

The next meeting of the Digbeth Forum is planned to take place at South and City College‘s Digbeth campus this week; rest assured that DRA will keep our members updated of any important outcomes.

Up Against The Wall

When: Thursday 7th November, 20:00
Where: The Edge, 79-81 Cheapside, Digbeth, B12 0QH

MSFAC‘s six-month whirlwind programme of exhibitions, gigs, film screening, meals and more has now come to an end, but never fear, the fun continues with Up Against The Wall next week!

In partnership with Friction Arts, UATW is a celebration of Digbeth’s street art and buildings, with an open fire and live music. The event is free and will see digital projections, folk music, conversation and an opportunity for you to get involved if you bring an instrument!

See the Facebook event page here, or the flyer below for more information.