Key announcements

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What's next at Southside?

The final scheme is planned for delivery in 2024

The main focus of the final scheme will be the introduction of high-quality public realm surfacing to enhance the public square outside the Hippodrome Theatre. The enhanced square will:

  • provide a new heart for Chinatown and frontage to the Hippodrome theatre
  • provide a gateway to the Gay Village and Back-to-Back National Trust houses
  • transform pedestrian and cycling links between New Street Station and Birmingham Smithfield
  • support economic growth for local businesses as well as attracting more visitors to this part of the city
An artists drawing of buildings and a road of the proposed final public realm scheme for 2024

Artist impression of proposed final Public Realm Scheme due to be started in 2024

This scheme will replace the current surfacing with a new granite material, and will:

  • replace the tarmac footways along Lower Hill Street and Hurst Street with a granite paving to provide a consistent enhanced corridor from New Street Station to the Southside District
  • re-align the existing crossing on Smallbrook Queensway to provide a straight-across route for pedestrians with associated traffic signal works.
  • incorporate new street lighting on lower Hill Street, Ladywell Walk and Hurst Street to correspond with that installed on upper Hill Street
  • incorporate enhanced street lighting in the pedestrianised events space with feature LED, a spotlight for the Birmingham AIDS & HIV memorial, and a multi-colour control system to support specific events in Hippodrome Square
  • replace previously removed trees and include additional trees and integrate with the drainage system to improve sustainability and reduce run-off into the city centre sewer network
  • incorporate planters into the street scene along with new seating and litter bins
  • replace the existing hostile vehicle mitigation concrete blocks and barriers with a bollard type system to improve permeability for cyclists and pedestrians
  • provide granite paving surround for Birmingham AIDS & HIV memorial on Hurst Street

The scheme forms part of the Enterprise Zone Investment Plan (EZIP), supported by Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP). In February 2021 GBSLEP approved the Enterprise Zone (EZ) funding business case followed by the City Council approval to the Full Business Case for an estimated capital cost of circa £9.5m.

The City Council developed the scheme proposals working in partnership with Southside Business Improvement District and the Hippodrome. The scheme is predominately funded by the EZ along with City Council Section 106 funding and funding commitments from third parties including the Hippodrome Theatre, Southside BID and the Southside Building.

Traffic management update

Traffic management proposals are yet to be defined with a contractor to be appointed. It is envisaged that the works will require:

  • localised pedestrian route management through the Square
  • localised diversion of cycle routes when necessary
  • occasional restrictions to the highway carriageway to facilitate kerb installation and traffic signal works.

Further updates will follow once a contractor has been appointed and a works programme is agreed.

An image of a street with hostile vehicle barriers in place

Example of hostile vehicle barriers in place on a street

Images of two types of tree species for the development

Example of different tree species proposed for the Southside development


Page last updated: 12 July 2023

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