Beating competition from across the country, including schemes in London and Manchester, CBD received the top accolade in the Place Management (Large Location) category of this year’s British BIDs Proud Projects Awards.
An annual event, the British BIDs Proud Project Awards celebrates the achievements of Business Improvement Districts across the UK, recognising place making projects, improved services and community initiatives such as events and festivals; all of which help to improve the local area.
Located between Colmore Row and Steelhouse Lane, Colmore Square was previously an under-used area of Birmingham’s business district, with no public landscaping or facilities to attract people to the space. Thanks to the efforts of CBD, the area now boasts soft landscaping and planting, as well as feature lighting and benches. The square also contains a chess garden ‘pocket park’ featuring two stone tables with inset chessboards, which is open to everyone in the District to use.
Colmore Square was the first area enhancement civil engineering project to be undertaken solely by a BID in Birmingham. The scheme was designed by Capita’s land planning team with construction work implemented by the Landscape Group Ltd. Project management services were provided by MACE.
Mike Mounfield, project manager at CBD, said: “We’re ecstatic to have won this award and received national recognition for our Colmore Square improvement project. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to deliver the project, but being able to see people enjoying the space and using the new ‘pocket park’ makes it all worthwhile.”
Dr Julie Grail, Chief Executive of British BIDs said “The panel liked this project because of its bravery. The improvements to Colmore Square were important to the district. Instead of relying on other mechanisms, the business community, through the BID, stepped in to improve the area for those who work and visit the district”.
Moving forwards, Colmore Square is set to be used for a number of upcoming events during 2015.
Rob Valentine, Vice Chair of CBD and Head of Office for Birmingham at Bruntwood, said: “Projects like Colmore Square demonstrate just how important it is to have an engaged and pro-active BID. In the past 12 months, CBD has not only transformed a previously under-used public square, it has also achieved record footfall at the annual CBD Food Festival, launched a new magazine for the District and introduced new Ambassadors to provide a welcome and information service for people in the area; all of which have benefited local businesses.”
Colmore Square is the CBD’s third public realm enhancement project, following the delivery of Church Street Square and the enhancement of Livery Street Wall. It comes ahead of a number of future planned improvement projects, including permanent enhancements to Cornwall Street, Newhall Street and the square outside Snow Hill Station.
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