Published on 26/01/21

Outstanding Places Update January

Parklets

We installed a pilot parklet on Waterloos Street outside Pure Bar, which was well received and

Further parklet locations were chosen at:

  • Waterloo Street outside Theatrix
  • Colmore Row outside 200 Degrees Coffee
  • Church Street outside Hotel du Vin
  • Barwick Street outside Primitivo

These have now been installed, have been well-received and were getting well used before the short second lock-down.  During lockdown we took the opportunity to have clear roofing installed to extend their usefulness.  We also completed and installed an artwork for each parklet, provided by local artists.

We are currently investigating ways to brand the parklets so that they are more obviously a Colmore BID project.

Greening

We have made a GBSLEP enabling fund application for £50,000 funding for the following remit to cover both Colmore and Retail BIDs:

“We have an ambitious master plan that needs forming beyond concept; to visibly manifest green infrastructure across spaces in both bids – to impact on carbon reduction, improve air quality and above all create engaging series of greening interventions that will attract workers, visitors and shoppers back to the central part of Birmingham”.

We are still waiting to hear from the LEP, whether we have been successful.

Fierce Festival

In the Fierce Festival curators’ own words:

“For over 20 years, Fierce has been promoting Birmingham and the region across the world as a vibrant, diverse and tolerant place where the incredible happens in unusual places, the outlandish is embraced and celebrated and the new is welcomed with curiosity and kindness. As we look to our future, we want to continue to provide that relevant, fresh and feisty voice for the city. We bring the world to Birmingham, and Birmingham to the world.

Fierce produces a biennial youthful and joy-filled festival of international art, performance and experiences which takes place in and around Birmingham.  On our 2019 edition the Guardian awarded a Five Star review for ‘A daring whirl of theatrical thrills’ and The Stage described our programme as being ‘one of the most diverse and representative in the country’. Fierce commissions are currently touring the world such as Tania El Khoury’s Garden’s Speak (an installation about the Syrian war) which has played over 30 venues across 5 continents.

Fierce transforms the city and the way we feel about it: populating theatres, galleries and hidden, unusual or out-of-the-ordinary spaces like disused warehouses, Moseley Road swimming baths, underneath Spaghetti Junction and even Birmingham’s famed Rotunda.

We will partner with Colmore Business Improvement District, one of our cities most active BIDs covering key parts of the city … they are perfectly positioned to be our lead BID partner. This project directly relates to the ‘creating outstanding places’ element of their 2019 – 2024 business plan, feeding into their ambitions for this by exploring opportunities for public realm cultural activities.

Our involvement in this project – to which we are providing no funding – is testament to the reputation we have built up over 10 years for taking art in public realm seriously and being a partner that can provide a navigable bridge between the worlds of art and business.

In 2021 getting people back to the City Centre – visitors and workers alike – is going to be near the top of our agenda.  Challenging, thought-provoking and visually arresting art in the public realm is going to be one of the tools for achieving this and Fierce Festival will be a great vehicle for helping with that. Their track record is impressive – Play Me I’m Yours – the project responsible for inspiring all those pianos in public spaces – is a Fierce project that left a permanent legacy around the world.

Christmas Lights

We had nearly 100 Christmas Light features in the District, including our new angles in the Cathedral Grounds.

Planting for 2021

Floral planting will be back in the District from late May.

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