Grand Union’s Fifth Birthday

When: Friday 3rd April 2015, 19:00 ’til late
Where: Grand Union, 19 Minerva Works, Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5RS

Everyone is invited to Grand Union’s 5th Birthday Party on Friday 3 April 2015. It will be an evening full of for performances, DJs and the obligatory cake – and with a recent grant of £122,000 to secure its future until 2017 – there is lots to celebrate!

Grand Union has played a key part in the regeneration of Minerva Works and Digbeth as a whole, showing 28 exhibitions, working with over 200 artists, and welcoming 10,000 visitors over the past five years. This will be a fantastic way to note the achievements so far, and a chance to look forward to the next five years.


Digbeth gets a tram!

This morning it was announced that the Midland Metro tram route through Digbeth will go down the High Street. The new tram will serve Digbeth High Street, the coach station and The Custard Factory.

Centro and Birmingham City Council decided to opt for the High Street route over the previously-favoured Fazeley Street route following a public consultation where almost 75% of people voted for the High Street. Digbeth Residents Association has been instrumental in the inclusion of the High Street route option, and its supporters made a huge impact on the final decision.

The tram route will start at the new HS2 station, and run along New Canal Street and Meriden Street before turning left on to High Street Deritend. It will then travel along the centre of the carriageway, replacing the existing footpath. There will be a stop close to the junction of Milk Street to serve Digbeth Coach Station and the Custard Factory; the tram will then continue along the High Street before turning left into Adderley Street where a terminus is proposed.

Chair of Digbeth Residents Association, John Gordon, said: “We are delighted with the decision for the Midland Metro to serve Digbeth High Street. This will create a connected transport system which integrates the coach station to the rail network via a tram, all within Digbeth. This triumph of common sense coupled with the voice of our supporters will meet the needs of Birmingham residents and property developers, rather than just the latter, creating an inclusive service to where people live now and where more will live in the future.

“The tram will serve the local businesses, providing a stimulus for much-needed economic growth in the area, maximising the benefit of the investment in HS2. £132 million will be ploughed into Digbeth, supporting long-overdue works to improve the public realm along the High Street. The Metro will also support the night time economy, defining our neighbourhood as a vibrant young linear urban community.

“One of the aims of Digbeth Residents Association is to promote Digbeth as a destination within Birmingham, as opposed to an area to pass through as quickly as possible. In future we would love to see full pedestrianisation of the High Street to create a boulevard akin to Las Ramblas, and the tram extended to serve the Birmingham City Football ground.”

Thank you to all our supporters who participated in the consultation – your voice has been heard and you’ve made a real difference to the development of Digbeth and the city as a whole!

Tanya’s Vegan Pop-up Restaurant

When: Friday 20th March, 19:30
Where: Centrala, Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5RT
£20 – book online here (advanced booking necessary)

Tanya’s vegan pop up restaurant returns to Centrala this week, offering you a three course evening meal. Great if you’re vegan or just interested in trying it out!

There is a choice of two options for each course, with either a fully raw meal or something warm. For more information and to make your menu selection, visit the Centrala website (advance booking necessary).

Flatpack Festival 2015

When: Thursday 19 – Sunday 29 March 2015
Where: various venues across Digbeth

Prepare yourselves – Flatpack Film Festival, the “UK’s most creatively curated film festival”, returns to Digbeth this week. Flatpack includes genres such as animation, music, artists’ film, archive discoveries, offbeat shorts for children and live cinema, so there’s certainly something for everyone.

Amongst the events taking place in Digbeth, Millennium Point will be playing host to Time + Motion, comprising the first ever UK show by audio-visual Japenese duo, Usaginingen, whose home-made opto-machinery produces real-time visuals through specially made filters soundtracked by a live percussion score. Alongside the performances, you can explore British Animation Award winning filmmaker Jim Le Fevre’s spinning world of phonotropes, as well as Sellotape Cinema’s mobile projectors and film strips.

Centrala at Minerva Works is also the location for a number of events during the ten-day festival, including Cross City Walks and a battle of the air bands (see flyer below). All very exciting!

Check out further events on the Flatpack website here, or click the links below to see what is happening at each Digbeth venue:

LMC Unleashed

When: Thursday 19th March, 18:30-21:00
Where: Nest Gallery, 321 Bradford Street, Digbeth, B5 6ET
Tickets: £5 (available online here)

Little Miss Creative (LMC) is an organisation that aims to give young creative women a voice, supporting the next generation of free-thinking female leaders that will inform and shape the future. Part of this is their monthly networking events for women aged 16-30, designed to offer a safe environment to share ideas while providing inspiration and to potential to turn dreams into action.

This month’s event features two successful women sharing their experiences and advice:

  • Gemma Calvert is a magazine writer, celebrity editor and showbiz expert, with 14 years’ experience in the world of newspaper and magazine journalism.
  • Ria Hebden began her career at Talkback Thames following her degree, progressing to roles on The X Factor before becoming a presenter for the BBC.

For more information about the event, or to secure your place, visit the LMC website here.

Save the Date – City Drive

When: Monday 20th – Friday 24th April 2015
Where: various locations around Digbeth

There are over 50 social enterprises based in Digbeth, dedicated to using business for social good.

ISE present City Drive – a week of events to promote social enterprise to all audiences – coming to Digbeth in April. Save the date in your diaries now!


When: until Tuesday 17th March 2015
Where: Centrala, Unit 4 Minerva Works, Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5RT

This week sees the last few days of Blacky, an exhibition of Mateusz Skutnik‘s illustrations from his latest book of the same name. Mateusz is the most prominent comic artist in Eastern Europe, and uses his art to make bittersweet and thought-provoking observations.

For more information about the exhibition, visit the Centrala Space website.

Shortwaves Film Festival

When: Saturday 14 March 2015, 18:00
Where: Centrala, Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5RT

Centrala Gallery is proud to host part of the Shortwaves Film Festival – one of the largest and most prestigious film events in Poland – right here in Digbeth.

The festival consists of a global tour of screenings, visiting 44 cities around the world and another 80 cities in Poland. Of the 250 submitted films, seven will be shortlisted to join a public audience vote. The films are an eclectic choice of styles and genres including documentaries, animations, video clips and fiction films.

For more information visit the Centrala website.

Hot Tub Cinema comes to Digbeth

When: 10-19th April, 18:30 onwards
Where: Boxxed, 104-108 Floodgate Street, Digbeth, B5 5SR
Tickets: available online here

Hot Tub Cinema is coming to Digbeth next month, offering you the chance to watch classic flicks from the bubbly comfort and warmth of a hot tub!

The event organisers want you to positively celebrate the films you are watching, and with classics such as Grease, Dirty Dancing and Mean Girls on offer, there may well be dancing in the aisles… You can book a whole tub to share with six or eight friends, or get up close and personal with some fellow film lovers. Every hot tub is served by a waiter, so you don’t even have to get out to go to the bar.

Tickets are selling like hot cakes, so hot foot yourself over to the Hot Tub Cinema website to bag yourself a hot seat.

Radical Networks at Vivid Projects

When: Thursday 12th March, 18:30
Where: Vivid Projects, 16 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham, B5 5RS

Vivid Projects kicks off 2015 with Radical Networks, a programme of aesthetic disruption and questioning of the moving image, ethics and digital legacies.

The programme launches tomorrow with the Birmingham première of Episodes 1 & 2 (2014) and 3 (2015) of Ways of Something, a contemporary remake of John Berger’s classic BBC documentary, ‘Ways of Seeing’ (1972). The new work consists of one-minute videos by 85 web-based artists. The original audio track is retained, disrupted by an exuberant series of 60-second artworks contributed by artists working with 3D rendering, GIFs, film remixes and webcam performances.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Lorna Mills, Richard Clay and Antonio Roberts. (UK). This is a free event, but booking is strongly recommended to reserve your place. See the website for more details.