Stunning architecture and new stores rub shoulders on Birmingham’s picturesque Cannon Street
The new and the old are working in harmony along one of Birmingham’s most picturesque thoroughfares, which continues to grow in popularity.
Cannon Street boasts an eclectic mix of retail and business offerings housed in traditional buildings, many of Victorian origin, which have been extensively modified and extended.
A key focal point is thestudio, which has grown into the Caxtongate Phase One development that stretches from Fore Street to New Street and features two listed buildings.
thestudio offers city centre meeting rooms and conference venues – including practical and creative settings – for corporate and private functions.
Its impressive array of 20 spaces, across four floors, caters for anything from training sessions, conferences, networking and corporate events to parties, wedding receptions and dinners for up to 200 people.
thestudio’s hidden gem is its roof garden with accompanying communal business lounge, an unexpected haven in the middle of a bustling city.
Julian Kettleborough, Commercial Director at thestudio, said: “We’ve got a little bit of something for everyone.
“We work with a diverse range of clients, from local corporate businesses, service industries, local government and the NHS to private customers organising a special occasion.
“We have practical spaces for more traditional events but also appeal to clients who are maybe looking for ‘a bit of Google’ for the day. “Google’s headquarters is renowned for being innovative and that’s an experience we offer, enabling clients to collaborate and get the most out of their day.
‘To truly appreciate Cannon Street, you need to look above the store fronts. Some of the buildings are really stunning’
“We pride ourselves in being creative. People just don’t expect to see a roof terrace, which is ideal for wedding receptions and networking events.
“There certainly aren’t many spaces in the city centre where you can bring your work colleagues and have a BBQ.”
thestudio’s success in Birmingham has enabled the company to branch out into four other major cities, with its newest venue opening in Glasgow in September.
“We have become recognised in the city as an imaginative venue but we’re always looking to let more businesses know about what we offer,” added Julian.
“People who regularly walk past our front door are still often amazed when they come and take a look inside.
“We’re in a great location. To truly appreciate Cannon Street, you need to look above the store fronts. Some of the buildings are really stunning.”
Cannon Street was the home of the Birmingham Post & Mail printing house until the early 1960s and was once graced by legendary Grand National winner Red Rum for the opening of Coral bookmakers.
Back to the present and the newest neighbour to founder tenants like Slaters Menswear and Toni & Guy in Caxtongate Phase One is recently-opened eness cosmetics.
The new retail brand of luxurious and premium body care products has chosen Birmingham and, more specifically Cannon St, to launch its first store.
eness cosmetics Managing Director Justin Clohessy said the location within the Retail BID Birmingham zone had been carefully selected after a year researching Britain’s cities.
“With its central location and diversity of culture and ethnic demographic, Birmingham quickly stood out as the ideal location,” said Justin.
“The eness cosmetics range has been specially developed to offer something for every type of skin and colour and it felt like a natural fit.
“I spent a great deal of time in Birmingham and felt very excited about the Cannon Street outlet being our first, as well as our office. During this time, we also struck a real affinity with the City, so it just felt right.
“Lower Cannon Street has some big name retailers like Jigsaw, White Stuff and the soon-to-open Bravissimo, and it also is the thoroughfare to the financial quarters, ensuring daily footfall.”
eness cosmetics promises affordable, high-quality products, for all skin types, that have completed the company’s ‘Love Your Earth’ ethical and sustainable journey, which ensures they contain no harmful ingredients to the user or planet.
“We only opened early August but we’re delighted with the response so far,” added Justin. “Footfall into the store is building and word is quickly getting out that our products are the best around – but at a price well below that of the bigger brands.
“We hope to open our second store in Birmingham prior to Christmas, as we believe it to be right for our brand.”
Written by Edwin Ellis Creative Media for Retail BID Birmingham Edit magazine. Read the latest edition here.