A new dawn for Birmingham’s historic New Street

Author: Stacey BarnfieldPublished:

A report has been commissioned to help transform one of the busiest streets in Birmingham as part of Retail BID’s proposed third term.

The Business Improvement District (BID) is working alongside Birmingham City Council to find ways of improving New Street to make it more welcoming for shoppers and visitors to the city centre, improving the public realm and commercial viability of the street.

Businesses and retailers with an interest in the area will soon be invited to a special summit to discuss proposals and debate any concerns.

The 500-metre street, which dates back to the 13th century, connects Bullring and High Street at its eastern end to Victoria Square at its west end.

Most of the street is now pedestrianised with the Corporation Street junction crossed by the new Metro tram route and the road loop that connects Temple Street to Bennetts Hill, near Piccadilly Arcade.

Once home to King Edward VI High School for Girls, principal tenants include Odeon Cinema, BHS, Watches of Switzerland, Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Lloyds Bank, Tesco, together with the forthcoming new Apple store in the listed Midland Bank building near Corporation Street.

New Street in Birmingham

New Street in Birmingham

Major New Street tenant Primark will be moving to the nearby Pavilions as part of its landmark acquisition of the High Street mall.

Chair of Retail Birmingham, Jonathan Cheetham, said both the city council and the BID have aspirations to improve the street’s public realm, which will be a key strategy in Retail BID’s proposed third term.

“We are working with the city council and Greater Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership to take the New Street project forward and to fully understand the needs and expectations of key stakeholders to establish what is the future shared vision for the street which we can then deliver. The street has an eclectic mix of businesses from the retail, hospitality and service sectors and we need to look closely at how it works and how new public realm aligned to planning strategy can help it improve further as an important destination in the city centre.”

The Retail BID has been working with the city council to assess funding options for any improvement works.

“There is identifiable funding available which we hope to access together to improve New Street and this may be a once-in-a-generation chance to get the basics right and develop an important retail landscape for years to come,” he said.

“We aim to hold a New Street Summit early this year with key stakeholders, property owners and retailers to start to explore how we deliver a world-class street for Birmingham.”

To find out more about the New Street Summit and how you can be involved please contact the Retail BID team.

This article appears in Edit magazine, published by Edwin Ellis Creative Media for Retail BID Birmingham. Read the latest edition online here.