Posts Tagged ‘ Birmingham City Council

Nechells Ward Meeting – June 2014

When: Thursday 19th June, 18:00
Where: Phoenix Hall, Tow Path Close, Bordesley, B9 4LS

The next Nechells Ward Committee meeting will take place this coming Thursday at 6pm in Bordesley. This is the one meeting where residents from Nechells Ward (which encompasses Digbeth) can publicly hold their Councillors accountable for their actions, and share their concerns.

  • Do you want Councillors to support plans for fewer shisha lounges in Digbeth?
  • Do you think there is too much litter/not enough street cleaning in Digbeth?
  • Are you concerned about plans for development?

This is the meeting to share the above concerns or anything else. For more information, please see the poster below, or contact Kay Thomas at Birmingham City Council at

Final Reminder – Parking Around

When: Saturday 14th June, 12:00 and 15:00
Where: Eastside City Park, Curzon Street, Digbeth

Meet the power walkers,
Ice cream van stalkers,
Determined hill hikers and pose strikers,
All getting grass between their toes, relaxed and unbound, just PARKING AROUND

Parking Around, a visually striking piece of circus theatre, following the weird and wonderful characters met in the park, will be played out through aerial circus, dance and physical theatre at noon and 3pm this Saturday at Eastside City Park.

Witness 17 performers hanging high in the skies above, lifting, throwing, and balancing each other, and dancing away to an eclectic sound track of music and poetry.

Come and support the 12 local participants who have been training alongside RoguePlay’s professional performance team. The performances are completely free and followed by free participatory workshops for adults and children alike. So come along and get parking around!

‘Wet boulevard’ proposed for Digbeth

Birmingham City Council is working with Severn Trent and the Environment Agency to explore “water sensitive” ways of regenerating the city centre and Digbeth.

One of the proposals is to create a wet boulevard – a pedestrian zone with water features – running from the Bullring towards the River Rea in Digbeth.

The proposed 'wet boulevard' for Digbeth

Although most of the river flows through the city underground, it has the Environment Agency’s lowest rating for water quality, and is the most significant flood risk in Birmingham.

The Ripple Effect report, commissioned by Defra’s Technology Strategy Board in 2013, estimated that environmental regeneration in Birmingham could be worth around £1.05 billion over 40 years, as a result of improved water quality and supply, reduced flood risk and increased property values.

Click here to read more on the BBC News website.

CFL Business moves to Digbeth!

Where: Unit S3, The Arch, 48-53 Floodgate Street, Digbeth, B5 5SL

CFL Business, the business arm of Community Fibre, have moved into new offices in Digbeth!

Taking a unit in The Arch on Floodgate Street, we are delighted to welcome the friendly guys hoping to change the face (and price!) of fibre-optic broadband in the city.

Birmingham City Council recently launched a government voucher scheme, designed to support businesses with installing fibre-optic broadband. The first two vouchers issued in Birmingham went to CFL Business, which is great news for Digbeth but also the digital industry in the city as a whole!

The lack of superfast broadband in Digbeth has restricted the area’s ambition to become a hub for digital business. This news from CFL Business, we hope, is certainly a step in the right direction.

If you run a business in Digbeth and feel you are being held back by the cost of installation of superfast broadband, give the guys at CFL Business a call. They are able to advise you the options available, and the support they can offer.

For more information, visit or call 0800 082 0717.

RoguePlay Theatre: Work Experience Placements

From May to July 2014, RoguePlay Theatre are delivering a number of two-week work experience placements for young people, enabling them to gain a Bronze or Silver Arts Award.

RoguePlay are looking to work with young people who may be more difficult to place for work experience, particularly those with hearing difficulties and physical disabilities, and have eight remaining placements.

If you would like more information about the project, or know any individuals or schools who may benefit, please email Jane English at

This initiative is supported by Birmingham City Council.

New Neighbourhood Watch Signs for Digbeth

One of the new Neighbourhood Watch signs in Digbeth

There has been something slightly different about Digbeth this past week… We have installed new Neighbourhood Watch signage across the locality!

Last Sunday, after gaining permission from Birmingham City Council’s planning and highways departments, Digbeth Residents Association erected a total of six new signs, stretching from Allison Street to Moseley Road.

Although these are not totally permanent signs, we hope that they will be upgraded and the number increased in future.

DRA’s Neighbourhood Watch would like to thank the Digbeth Local Policing Team for supplying the signs. Thanks also go to Birmingham City Council for their support, and to The Spotted Dog, for lending us a ladder to help with installation!

We hope this activity will continue to promote Digbeth as a safe area to live, by reassuring residents and hopefully deterring wannabe criminals. It also shows how residents can work with local authorities and businesses to bring about change – which also happens to be DRA’s mission.

Here’s to an ever safer Digbeth!

Birmingham Connectivity Voucher Scheme

When: Thursday 10th April 2014, 10:30-15:00
Where: The Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB
Free event – lunch and refreshments provided

The Connectivity Voucher Scheme aims to help businesses, charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations to take advantage of faster broadband connections. It is funded by the Government’s Urban Broadband Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.

Digital Birmingham will cover up to £3,000 of the connection costs for eligible organisations (usually enough to pay for all the work), and as it’s a grant not a loan, you don’t have to pay it back.

Full details of the grant process and the benefits of the connection scheme will be explained at the launch, which features key presenters, case studies and an exhibition. Suppliers and experts will be on hand to provide advice and discuss your specific requirements.

Clearly, the Digital Economy is an important part of Digbeth’s development. We therefore welcome this event, and encourage all local organisations who are able to attend to do so.

To register your attendance at this free event, please click here.

Council Meeting – Shisha Lounges

When: Thursday 20th March 2014, 18:00
Where: Stanhope Hall Community Centre, Emily Street, Highgate, B12 0XG

The next Nechells Ward Meeting will take place at 6pm on Thursday at Stanhope Hall Community Centre.

Digbeth Residents Association are encouraging all residents and businesses who care about Digbeth to attend this meeting, as shisha lounges will be discussed. As many of our readers are aware, the Christmas Day 2013 fire at the Diamond Shisha Lounge on Digbeth High Street was most recent and fourth shisha-related fire to occur in Digbeth.

Thankfully, no one was seriously injured in the fire, but DRA believe that it is just a matter of time until lives are prematurely claimed due to the safety concerns surrounding shisha lounges.

On a related matter, the shisha lounge opposite the White Swan on Bradford Street has applied to extend its opening hours to 3am. For more information, please visit the Birmingham City Council Licensing website and search for “Laylas Lounge” under premises. If you would like to object, please email with your contact details and objection today as the deadline for objections is 18th March 2014.

Additionally, an application to open yet another shisha lounge on Gooch Street has been submitted. Please click here to visit the planning website and register your objection; it takes just a couple of minutes and we’ve provided an example statement below:

  1. Please click this link, then click on the “Add Comments Here” link
  2. Enter your details, which will remain private and confidential and are used to prevent ‘spam’ objections being made
  3. Use the following text to register your objection: “From experience, shisha lounges cause anti-social behaviour such as noise pollution, ‘boy racers’, and public disorder. These are not desirable by-products of a new local business. In addition, four separate incidents of serious fires at shisha lounges in Digbeth raises alarm bells for public safety. I must therefore strongly urge Birmingham City Council to reject this application, and any subsequent applications, to open more shisha lounges in Birmingham.”

Please find documents for Thurday’s meeting below; if you are unable to attend but would like a question or point to be raised during the meeting, please email with details as soon as possible.

Birmingham Curzon HS2 Draft Masterplan

On Thursday 27th February, Birmingham City Council (BCC) unveiled the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Draft Masterplan.

The Masterplan shows how Birmingham hopes to integrate HS2 into the fabric of the city, by creating infrastructure for HS2 around Digbeth before the new terminus is built.

The Shed vs The Slug

Although on the whole it is a positive document, Digbeth Residents Association has a few concerns:

1. The proposed tram route connecting HS2 with the Coach Station via Digbeth High Street seems to have been changed beyond recognition in the new document. DRA would encourage the final Masterplan to revert to the original and preferred route through New Canal Street and Digbeth High Street.

2. Phil Burrows, Manager of the Birmingham FOE Warehouse explains our next concern in a blog entitled Can BCC Stop HS2 From Choking off Digbeth?:

The station proposed by HS2 is monolithic and is in stark contrast to the organic curves put forward by BCC and its ‘shingled slug’. The Shed feels impenetrable, forgetting to compensate for closing Park St and Fazeley St, by squeezing visitors to Digbeth through Paternoster Row. On the other hand, BCC have ensured that the Slug is a gateway to Digbeth with its open gentle steps and enticing public space.

This is why I’ll be signing up to the Curzon St masterplan and petitioning HS2 as it goes through parliament. I implore the rest of Digbeth to do the same. We need to make sure that we don’t rebuild the concrete collar.

3. Last, but not least, DRA welcomes the inclusion of a ‘Skypark’ through the Duddeston Viaduct in Digbeth. This idea has been proposed in various forms over the years and over numerous Masterplans for Digbeth and Eastside. With the transformative effect HS2 will have on the city, and the loss of green space, we strongly encourage BCC to petition HS2 to support this project in its entirety so that the Duddeston Viaduct will finally be given a new lease of life the structure and Digbeth so badly deserve.

An artist's impression of the view from Duddeston Viaduct Skypark looking towards Warwick Bar, from the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan

More information on the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Draft Masterplan and how to respond to the consultation is available on the BCC website.

The Masterplan is also available to download in full at the following links:
(Please note that these are large files so we would suggest not clicking on them if you are using a mobile device.)

Sustainability Spring Fair

When: Saturday 8th March, 10:30-17:00
Where: The Old Library and the Dome, The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA
Free Entry

Birmingham is celebrating Climate Week 2014 by staging the popular Sustainability Spring Fair, which promotes sustainable lifestyles and climate change issues in a fun, educational way.

Attractions include:

  • The popular indoor fair-trade and ethical market selling locally sourced produce and crafts from around the world
  • Fair-trade tea, coffee and refreshments for sale
  • Love Food Hate Waste food tasting
  • A stage show featuring a magic act and local bands, with headline act the amazing Electric Swing Circus, all performing on a solar powered stage
  • Environmental Artists offering art interventions and making toys from rubbish workshops
  • Have a go at learning basic circus skills like uni-cycling, juggling and stilt walking
  • Healthy smoothies produced by your own pedal power!

For more information, visit the Birmingham City Council website here.