Works complete on first phase of Snow Hill Public Realm programme

18 March 2022

Works have completed on two new public realm projects in Colmore Business District, providing improved access for pedestrians as well as enhancing the appearance of the historic Colmore area for workers, visitors and residents alike.

Developed in partnership by Colmore BID, Birmingham City Council and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), with further funding from the Greater Birmingham Local Enterprise Programme (GBSLEP), the schemes on Colmore Row and Cornwall Street have been delivered as part of the larger Snow Hill Public Realm programme. The programme, which was initially launched in 2015 includes a number of projects that aim to improve public transport interchange and connectivity, while enhancing the public realm and prioritise pedestrian movement.

Work on Colmore Row has seen improvements made to the pedestrian space, with new high quality paving materials and landscaping features, which includes the widening of footpaths in various locations. The right turn from Livery Street onto Colmore Row has been removed, meaning vehicles will now need to turn left onto Colmore Row from Livery Street. The central reservation outside of Snow Hill Station has now been removed, narrowing the road and providing pedestrians with more space to cross the road.

Vehicles on Livery Street will also notice a difference as a new two-way traffic system has been installed, enabling users to exit from Snow Hill car park and Livery Street via Barwick Street or Cornwall Street.

Cornwall Street has also undergone improvements. Similarly to Colmore Row, new paving materials have been installed and work has been undertaken to rationalise loading and parking for cars and delivery vehicles. Changes look to encourage visitors to use the area by providing a more inviting and pedestrian friendly environment. Landscaping has been improved, with new seating installed. The space has been developed with local hospitality businesses in mind who will be encouraged to utilise the area with the appropriate licences.

Nicola Fleet-Milne, Chair of Colmore BID, said: “When Colmore BID, Birmingham City Council and TfWM revealed their plans for the Snow Hill Public Realm Programme, we could not have imagined how much the world would have changed as a result of Covid. While lockdown has impacted on the work schedule, the completion of this work could not have come at a more opportune time as we re-evaluate how we use spaces in the city.

“The BID team and its partners have worked diligently over the past seven years and the end results have indeed been worth all of the hard work. I look forward to seeing Cornwall Street brimming with visitors in the summer months, making full use of the newly installed seating and widened pavements.”

David Hardman, Interim Deputy Chair, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) added:

“Our £4 million investment has helped created a more welcoming public space around Snow Hill station – a major connectivity hub for our residents and businesses. The new road layout will help people on bikes and e-scooters, encouraging more people to travel into the city centre in a sustainable way. With new wider pavements, there will also be additional outdoor seating space for the district’s excellent hospitality venues. 

“Projects like this one really do exemplify GBSLEP’s unique partnership model of the triple helix structure, bringing public, private and academic sectors together to make sustainable investment decisions that are based on local insight and need.”