Parklet scheme takes root in business district with launch of two new seating areas

19 May 2021

As the demand for outdoor seating continues to grow in the city, Colmore BID has added to its popular parklet scheme with the launch of two new seating areas on Church Street.

The new additions bring the grand total of parklets in Colmore Business District up to seven and have been welcomed by local hospitality venues who are able to use the space to serve customers.  

The two new community spaces have been launched on Church Street, outside Gaucho and The Old Royal pub. They join five previously installed parklets on Colmore Row, outside 200 Degrees Coffee, Barwick Street, outside Primitivo, Church Street, outside Hotel du Vin and Waterloo Street, outside Theatrix and Purecraft Bar & Kitchen.

Each parklet has capacity for 15-20 people within up to four defined areas, including seating with a low table for coffee and drinks, an area for dining with a high table and standing room.  They also include an area that has been specifically designed to be accessible for wheelchair users.

Additional seating has also been installed on the award-winning Church Street Square, with benches providing space for 12 people. Church Street Square was the first public realm enhancement scheme designed and delivered by Colmore BID in partnership with Birmingham City Council and was completed in summer 2012.

This award winning major public realm enhancement scheme transformed a previously wide carriageway into a new open space with reduced road width, benches, trees, greenery and enhanced lighting. The space also features a piece of public art called ‘Umbra’ by Wolfgang Buttress.

Colmore BID has worked with EventMen to design the parklets for each specific location, ensuring they meet relevant planning, licencing, counter terrorism and equalities standards. It has also commissioned Birmingham City Council’s Chelsea award-winning nursery team to add floral decorations, keeping with the BIDs ethos to ‘green’ the District, much like its popular flower towers.

Michele Wilby, CEO of Colmore BID, said: “Our parklet scheme has grown from strength to strength, with both businesses and the public making full use of the various sites. As people slowly return to the District after lockdown, it’s fantastic to see all these new spaces that we’ve created being used for catching up with friends, a quick coffee, meetings and even sit down meals.

“Office life will be different after the pandemic and there’s no pretending otherwise. With the needs of those in the District changing, it’s important that the BID supports these changes any way we can to ensure we continue to make Colmore Business District an outstanding place to be.”