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HISTORIC LETTINGS AT BIRMINGHAM'S UPPER TRINITY STREET

The first occupants of Cole Waterhouse’s £260m Upper Trinity Street (UTS) cultural, commercial and residential scheme in Digbeth have been announced, just a day after planning was unanimously approved.


The world’s first national Museum of Youth Culture will take 6,500 sq ft, fronting onto a new public park, in phase 2 which is set to open in Autumn 2025. It will celebrate the rich tapestry of social movements, subcultures, sounds and styles that span the generations and genres from post-war to modern-day Britain.

The Museum will also host a permanent exhibition of the Birmingham Music Archive (BMA) celebrating the incredible music history and culture of the city by amplifying and displaying the stories and hidden places and spaces associated with Birmingham’s music. The BMA will celebrate and amplify Birmingham’s incredibly rich and diverse music history, heritage and culture through permanent and temporary exhibitions and events and will become a hub for the contemporary music scenes in Birmingham.

Commenting on choosing Birmingham and UTS for the Museum Founder Jon Swinstead said: “Bringing the Museum of Youth Culture to Digbeth is a natural fit, having been named 'the coolest area in Britain' by The Sunday Times, the tone is already set for a dynamic, forward-thinking location that suits a radical and emerging new national Museum. Tying in with the area's creative and musical heritage, alongside the incredible transport links and central location, Birmingham not London was the obvious choice and we're looking forward to calling Digbeth our home.”

He continues: “Upper Trinity Street provides an outstanding purpose-built premises which will allow the history of youth culture to thrive and to really reflect the energy of the development. With green spaces, walkways, hotels and transport links at the heart of UTS, there couldn't be a more accessible place to house a new type of Museum.”

BMA founder Jez Collins who is also Cole Waterhouse’s cultural lead for UTS said: “Birmingham should be proud of its rich musical heritage and it’s time we started shouting about it. This is a once in a generation opportunity, working with a supportive and committed developer which has demonstrated its commitment to supporting the area’s history, heritage and culture from the outset. I’m really excited the BMA will be sharing a space with the Museum of Youth Culture to create a new cultural visitor attraction in Digbeth for Birmingham.”

Digbeth-based Pat Benson Boxing Academy will also move to 7,900 sq ft of space in phase 1 of UTS, due to complete in Spring 2024. The club, which will be close to celebrating its 100th anniversary, has not only produced some of the country’s brightest boxing talents but is also a hugely valuable community sports foundation, working with young people to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem through a variety of sports programmes.

Paddy Benson who today runs the club as CEO said: ”The club started in Small Heath at the end of the roaring 20s, training both national champions and local fighters, until my grandfather Paddy took it over 40 years ago and moved it to Digbeth. We’ve been here on Adderley Street since then and it was imperative for us to stay in the heart of the community we support. We considered several places in the local area but UTS definitely provides us with the best location, space and benefits which will help us build a sustainable future for the club.”

Cole Waterhouse CEO Damian Flood commented: “We’ve been in discussions with all parties and Birmingham City Council since early 2020 so have really been able to understand their requirements and ensure we can offer them the most appropriate space to deliver these superb, world-class facilities for the city. Under our Section 106 agreement we have been able to offer greatly reduced, affordable rental levels which will enable the PBBA to continue its amazing work with young people from superb new premises right in the heart of the community it has been supporting for almost a century.

“Signing the Museum of Youth Culture will really put UTS on the map as a major international destination for music, culture and art which are key drivers for regeneration. Digbeth is identified as one of Birmingham’s primary growth quarters and UTS has an important role to play as the city starts to Build Back Better, we are really excited to welcome these anchor tenants to UTS.”

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