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Three Huge Reasons Digbeth Is The Place To Watch In 2020

Digbeth High Street

Coolness is something famously hard to measure. Digbeth, the tech-meets-creatives-meets-city living district of central Birmingham, has it nonetheless. It was listed by the Times as the coolest address in Britain (beating districts in London, Manchester, Bristol and Leeds). Developers long ago sniffed out an opportunity in its warehouses and office blocks, but as the latest monster scheme is unveilled, Digbeth's prospects become more tangible. Three large schemes suggest a change of pace. Together they will transform Digbeth in 2020.

1. Stone Yard

With the latest big scheme to land in Digbeth, Court Collaboration plans 928 apartments in seven blocks of up to 30 storeys high. The development designed by Glancy Nicholls will be on the Bull Ring Trading Estate site, Business Desk reported.

The Stone Yard scheme heads a list of substantial Digbeth residential schemes, including The Hub's proposals for the 6-acre former bus depot site.

Together these schemes form one end of the Rea Valley residential redevelopment, led by Birmingham City Council. The plans to rethink a 150-acre slice of central Birmingham include 5,000 new homes in a green corridor expanding out from the Birmingham Smithfield development controlled by Lendlease.

The Digbeth Hub garage site

2. Digbeth Studios Complex

An announcement is expected before Christmas on the 30- to 40-acre mixed residential and commercial development centred on a new film and TV production complex. Around 1M SF of media and amenity space, and perhaps 1,000 housing units in a mix of formats, are envisaged.

Nikal, which is advising on the Mercian Studios project, has been tight-lipped about the exact location, although a site in Digbeth is strongly tipped.

A 25-acre site identified by Nikal within walking distance of the HS2 high speed train terminal at Curzon Street is in play.

Creative juices are already flowing in Digbeth, where  SevenCapital's plans to build its £200M Connaught Square residential scheme, one of Birmingham's largest. The 770-unit scheme will anchor Birmingham’s Creative Quarter in Digbeth.

3. Custard Factory

Oval's plans for a 45-acre site bounded by High Street Deritend, Milk Street, Digbeth Branch Canal and Liverpool Street in Digbeth envisage 3.76M SF of new development including shops, offices, hotels, apartments and student housing along with leisure and entertainment uses.

Buildings will be three to eight storeys, with some up to 14 storeys tall. Proposals include enhancing the Duddeston Viaduct allowing public access, and the partial opening up of the River Rea, which is culverted today.

Plans are now before city council officials.