Published on 17/10/16

Snow Hill Improvement Works Tranche 1

Colmore BID has had a long-standing aspiration to make improvements to Snow Hill Square, which is one of the main gateways into Colmore Business District.

In its most recent history, the Square was covered by a series of green canopies, which were eventually removed, leaving an open, uninspiring space as the entrance and exit to the District for an estimated 40,000 people each day.

In February 2013, Colmore BID published the SHIP Study; an honest and innovative consideration of transport around the Snow Hill part of the District. As a result of the findings of the SHIP Study, Colmore Business District, Birmingham City Council and Transport for West Midlands put in a bid to the Local Growth Fund for a project to make improvements to the square and the surrounding area.

Colmore BID has committed £1.4m of Levy Payers’ money as part of this bid. One of the key reasons for the success of the bid is this commitment; the desire of the private sector to invest and improve the area in which they operate was significant in the successful outcome of the bid.

Birmingham City Council and Transport for West Midlands have also committed funds to the project, allowing us, as a consortium, to lever in an extra £5m of new money into the district. The project has a total budget of £10m, and has been split into two Tranches. Tranche 1 deals with Snow Hill Square and associated works.

As well as re-paving the entire square with new, high quality paving, the project will also remove the current lamp columns and replace them with attractive catenary lighting. This will provide much improved lighting for those walking through the square, and attractive lighting for those working in the surrounding buildings.

The project will also introduce a subtle public art piece. Inspired by the railway tracks running beneath the square, a sand-blasted map of Birmingham will extend out from the station entrance, transporting pedestrians across Colmore Row to Great Western Arcade. The project will also introduce seating into the square in the form of a large “city bench”, encouraging people to dwell and enjoy the square.

The project has also facilitated the owners of No.1 Colmore Row’s aspiration to bring their basement back into use. Access to the basement, which will be converted into a restaurant / bar, will be via a new glass pavilion on the square.

The project isn’t just a facelift for the square. Alterations will also be made to transport around the square. A new two way traffic flow will be introduced on Livery Street between Cornwall Street and the entrance to the station car park. The location of the Livery Street bus stops will swap with the taxi rank on Colmore Row, and affected bus routes will be re-routed.

Crucially for pedestrians, the right-turn from Livery Street onto Colmore Row will be removed, making the junction much more pedestrian friendly.

Work will also be undertaken to improve the junction of Colmore Circus Queensway and Snow Hill Queensway, increasing the footway and making it more suitable for pedestrians.

A consultation exercise took place between 6 October and 2 November 2016 to capture people’s views on the proposals.

Keep checking back on this page for the latest updates on this transformational project.