Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter is set to shine with the development of a new Golden Square following the award of just under £700,000 ERDF funding.
Supporting the aims of the Birmingham Enterprise Zone, the public square planned for the heart of the Jewellery Quarter will see an existing car park replaced with a mixture of hard and soft landscaping, an event space, public art and jewellery showcase centre. This regeneration project will give a boost to the image of the northern part of the area making it attractive to potential businesses and visitors.
Supported by around £700,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and matched by Birmingham City Council, the new development is part of a package of activities to develop and improve the Birmingham area and acts as a key part of Birmingham’s Big City Plan.
Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transportation, Environment and Regeneration said: “As a unique location, and popular visitor attraction, the Jewellery Quarter currently produces 40% of the UK’s produced jewellery and is a vital element supporting the region’s creative industries. With the potential to grow further we need to ensure that the environment and conditions to allow growth are right. This is particularly important for the northern area which is in much need for new investment and development. The Golden Square will act as a focal point to kick-start the essential regeneration.”
Baroness Hanham CBE, Parliamentary Secretary of State within the Department for Communities and Local Government explains the importance of the development to this area: “As part of a bigger plan for the Birmingham area, £24 million from the ERDF Programme has been allocated to improve and redevelop areas that will encourage new businesses to develop, create job opportunities for local people and help enrich the overall economy of the region. One of the aims of the new square is to attract investment into the area and this is only going to happen if the location is attractive and meets the needs for businesses. Once this is achieved the area will thrive. I am delight at being able to support this significant development through ERDF funding.”
Managed by Birmingham City Council, the square is just one of a series of initiatives already underway or completed in the northern part of the Jewellery Quarter – £2.4 million is being used to turn derelict properties into units for jewellery makers – and the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter was extended in 2009 through funding from Birmingham City Council.
To find out more about activities and the redevelopment of the Jewellery Quarter, visit http://www.jewelleryquarter.net. For more information on Birmingham’s Big City Plan, visit http://bigcityplan.birmingham.gov.uk