10 reasons why Birmingham will be the most amazing city in the world
If you think Birmingham has transformed in recent years you ain’t seen nothing yet! Here’s ten reasons why Brum will become the most amazing city in the world
We knew Birmingham was on the cusp of big change when we finally got a decent train station.
Yes, when Grand Central transformed our embarrassing old New Street station into somewhere visitors wouldn’t mind spending more than ten minutes waiting for their connecting train, we knew things were getting better.
But as well as this new positive national recognition Brum’s been receiving, the city is on its way to gaining serious international recognition too.
Millions of pounds worth of investment has been committed to impressive regeneration projects all around our beautiful city.
From the demolition of the old Paradise Place to make way for a true taste of Paradise, to the spectacular plans for our beloved but neglected Bullring markets, the landscape of Birmingham is changing.
In 2015 travel bible Rough Guides named Birmingham the ninth best city in the world but they really ain’t seen nothing yet. There is so much more to come.
Here are our ten reasons why, over the next ten years, Birmingham will be the most amazing city in the world by 2026.
1. Eastside Locks, Digbeth Canal
This £450 million canalside regeneration scheme is billed as the most “exciting and important city centre regeneration scheme in Europe”. It will transform a 13 acre site into apartments, a 175 room hotel as well as shops, bars and restaurants – as well as the re-opening of the old Typhoo building.
Luke Schuberth, director at international architect group AukettFitzroy who has worked on the project, told us the plan was inspired by the public spaces in Barcelona and in particular gardens in the city called Jardins del Palau Robert – serving as a blueprint on how to “transform a central urban environment into a tranquil oasis.”
There will also be an area called ‘Pound Square’ near the Digbeth canal – “a lively bustling area of bars, restaurants and cafes.” Both the Eastside Locks project and Paradise project will help the city centre feel much bigger and most definitely better.
2. Birmingham Smithfield
Did you know the area around Bullring markets was first known as Smithfield markets – back in 1935?
The Smithfield project will be reclaiming its place in the heart of the city and has been described as bringing ‘food, culture and community together.’
A CGI of plans for the markets as part of the Birmingham Smithfield regeneration scheme
The focal point will be Festival Square – the size of Centenary Square. Festival Square will look out to a museum, culture centres, markets, a hotel leisure opportunities such as an ice rink and other family attractions. Most impressively it will also house major concerts.
According to Richard Cowell, head of city centre development and planning at city council, the plans aim is to “become an example to international cities. “
And leader of Birmingham City Council John Clancy told us: ” I’m confident that Smithfileld will create a place for people that stands the test of time, making this an even more attractive place to live, invest and visit.”
3. A late night foodie village
A late night foodie market can only expand our foodie credentials even more – and it’s coming to Smithfield! The old Bullring Market will be transformed into a 24 hour foodie hangout. Think of a massive spacious Digbeth Dining Club but every day! And all the time!
The market will turn into a food hub in the evening similar to Brixton Village in London which transformed the old Brixton markets into a trendy area of Brixton eateries.
It also sounds very similar to the world famous Mercado da Ribeira market in Lisbon, which has a wide range of foodie options from fine dining to burgers all under one roof.
4. Birmingham’s own Central Park
Birmingham is a surprisingly leafy city with 571 parks – from Cannon Hill to Sutton via Handsworth – covering almost 9,000 acres, more than any other European city.
Sadly the centre of our city isn’t as green but this is going to change! After thousands of people signed an online poll calling for “a green oasis in the heart of the city” – Birmingham’s own New York style ‘Central Park,’ the council listened. City council’s Waheed Nazir revealed in March that the campaign has influenced the powers that be to put a new city centre park at the heart of a new residential neighbourhood – in Birmingham Smithfield.
5. Welcome to Brummiewood
Birmingham is already a pretty hot film location. This year alone two blockbuster movies have been filmed here: Kingsman: The Golden Circle with Channing Tatum and The Girl With The Gifts starring Glenn Close and Bond Girl Gemma Arterton. But now it is set to get even better.
Peaky Blinders writer and director Steven Knight has told us there are plans for a studio complex at the NEC to attract major international producers to the region. The Brummie, whose latest movie Allied stars Brad Pitt, is working with council chiefs on the project.
He said: “It will be a big deal if and when it happens – and I think it will happen. The industry needs a big film studio outside London. It would be the first purpose built studio built for a very long time.”
As well as film studios, movie buffs can also look forward to a massive outdoor cinema in the city centre by 2026. An area next to Millennium Point will house a new digital screen to showcase art and film in what will be called The Forum.
Currently underused land adjacent to Millennium Point and Birmingham City University will be transformed into an open air forum and auditorium with a giant digital screen for art and film. This project is part of “the renaissance of Birmingham’s Eastside.”
A cultural hub with cinema screen could be built next to Millennium Point
6. This will officially be known as Paradise City
Did you know that John Madin, the architect who designed the old Birmingham Library had actually planned to make the building out of marble?
The city council refused to foot the bill so it was made in concrete instead and became the grey monstrosity we came to know and hate (or love). But now that has gone and the place called Paradise will soon be living up to its name!
Described as “the most significant development Birmingham has seen for a generation” and a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to boost the city’s standing internationally, ” £500 million has been invested to turn the former Paradise Place and surrounding area into an infinitely more pleasurable and beautiful place to be – with a new walk way, bars, restaurants and shops.
Architect Dav Bansal, from Glenn Howells Architects who is working on the project, said: “It was tragic how the old Paradise Place hid the city’s most prized crown jewels – Birmingham Town Hall, Birmingham Council House, Chamberlain Memorial and The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
“As well as three brand new squares and upgrading Chamberlain Square, our vision is to deliver a mix of vibrant mix of offices, shops, cafes and leisure facilities.
“This is an extremely important project to the city and its perception on a national and international stage.”
The Paradise Project is due for completion in 2026.
7. There will be LOADS more bars and restaurants
8. We will have a world class Grand Hotel again
9 Birmingham will have a proper international airport
10. Brum is off the starting blocks to host The Commonwealth Games in 2026
This is just a snippet of whats to come in how Birmingham is planning for a brighter and better future, see full details at