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Review of 2014 - June: Custard Factory owner on Digbeth, facelift for city tunnel and Hidden Spaces photos on display

Nostalgia lovers across the city flocked to the Hidden Spaces exhibition in June while American pop star Kelis marked the latest chapter in the revamp of Selfridges in the Bullring

Moor Street Station

Facelift for tunnel between stations

A city centre tunnel is set to get a £5.5 million facelift to improve the route between two of Birmingham's busiest railway stations.

The St Martin's Queensway Tunnel, which runs under the Bullring shopping centre, will be transformed into a well-lit attractive route for rail commuters.

Road crossings and the public areas outside the revamped New Street Station will also be improved to encourage people to walk between there and Moor Street station.

Currently about 1.4 million people a year walk through the dingy tunnel between the stations, but some have complained of feeling unsafe and it is also poorly signed for visitors to the city.

The number of pedestrians using the tunnel is expected to rise to 2.3 million when the HS2 Curzon Street station is built.

Custard Factory owner on the future for Digbeth

It is 21 years since the Custard Factory first opened its doors and kickstarted the regeneration of Digbeth as Birmingham's creative and digital quarter.

Owner Lucan Gray, who renovated and launched The Custard Factory with his father Bennie Gray in 1993, outlined Birmingham's opportunities to become a world-class creative city.

Methodist Hall vision wins Civic Society competition

A design competition revealed new visions that could breathe life back into five threatened Birmingham landmarks.

Central Library split in half, the Methodist Central Hall turned into start-up units, or Moseley Road Baths transformed into a concert hall were among the entries to Birmingham Civic Society's ‘Re-imagine' competition.

The brief was for designers or anyone with a passion for regeneration to think of new uses for five city buildings with an uncertain future.

The list comprised Curzon Street Station, the 16th-century Golden Lion Inn in Cannon Hill Park, John Madin's Central Library, Moseley Road Swimming Baths in Balsall Heath and the Methodist Central Hall.

NIA sets stage for new chapter

The National Indoor Arena has become an established part of Birmingham life in the past two decades – but its £20.6 million revamp aimed to bring the city inside.

Part of the refurbishment, which added almost 65,000 sq ft of floorspace, reflects Birmingham's heritage, with nods to the Jewellery Quarter and its history as The City of 1,000 Trades.

It has also added new eateries to bring people in at all times of the day, with more than 16,000 sq ft of space created for food and drink operators overlooking the canal.

Selfridges beauty hall unveiled

American pop star and BRIT award winner Kelis unveiled a top Birmingham store's new beauty hall with an exclusive sell-out show to celebrate the event.

The singer welcomed crowds to the opening of the newly expanded facility at Selfridges with the hits-packed instore performance in front of hundreds of specially invited guests and shoppers.

Hidden Spaces photography to go on display

A series of Post articles revealing the untold stories of the city's most recognisable buildings was to be turned into a photography exhibition.

'Hidden Spaces' showcased some of the city's most inspiring and unusual buildings and told the story of the people who built, lived and worked in them.

The stunning selection of photographs revealed some of our many hidden architectural gems which are often hidden away behind closed doors.

How city bluffed for Symphony Hall

The Queen officially opened Birmingham's International Convention Centre 23 years ago and was probably blissfully unaware that on the inside was a Trojan Horse.

To know that little gem of a fact, she would have needed a new book, Symphony Hall - A Dream Realised.

"The planning application said that Hall 2, as Symphony Hall was known, could be used for music and other events," says Terry Grimley, the Birmingham Post's former arts editor who has written the book. "And it has - from party conferences to degree ceremonies."

Luxury hotel plan for Digbeth

Plans were revealed for a new hotel and leisure centre in a run-down part of the city centre set to be transformed by HS2.

Serena Hotel has submitted proposals to build a four-storey, 51-bedroom hotel at Ladbrooke House in Digbeth, complete with a swimming pool, gym and spa.

Architect Alessio Venturi told the Post he wanted to create a four or five-star hotel to draw in custom from across Europe.

Theatre and cinema to open at Custard Factory

The Custard Factory is to get a new theatre cinema, the Post revealed.

In a move which could add a major cultural attraction to Digbeth, the Mockingbird Theatre will showcase a mix of established and new artists, with a programme of events, from original works in film, to ground-breaking plays and live comedy nights.

Set beside Scott Lake in the heart of the Custard Factory, the 101-seat venue will offer an intimate atmosphere that is unique to the region, according to a spokesman.

Review of 2014 - January

Review of 2014 - February

Review of 2014 - March

Review of 2014: April

Review of 2014: May

 

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