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Roundhouse receives £2.5m lottery cash for major regeneration

Confirmation of funding means 1870s former stables can be fully reborn as a visitor and commercial hub

One of Birmingham's most historic buildings is on course to be brought back to life after receiving a £2.5 million lottery grant.

The funding will enable a partnership of charities the Canal & River Trust and National Trust to turn the Grade II*-listed Roundhouse, in Sheepcote Street, into a base from which to explore Birmingham's canal network.

The Roundhouse was designed by local architect WH Ward and built in 1874 by the Birmingham Corporation when it was originally used as stables and stores.

Over the past decade, it has been steadily falling into disrepair and in 2014 it was placed on the 'At risk' register by English Heritage.

But the confirmed new investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will see it reborn as a visitor and commercial hub.

Proposals for the building include a café, a cycle hire and repair workshop, volunteering opportunities and a shared working space.

It is anticipated The Roundhouse will attract more than 50,000 people a year.

The building has already been used as a venue for this year's Flatpack Film Festival and the Birmingham Literary Festival.

The £3.3 million regeneration scheme was awarded an initial development grant of £225,000 by HLF 18 months ago and has now been given a full £2.5 million award to enable the scheme to go ahead.

The grant has been awarded through the Heritage Enterprise programme which is designed to help when the cost of repairing an historic building is so high that restoration is not commercially viable.

Staff from the Canal & River Trust and National Trust are joined by volunteers and canoeists to celebrate the £2.5 million grant
Staff from the Canal & River Trust and National Trust are joined by volunteers and canoeists to celebrate the £2.5 million grant

Additional funding has been provided by the two partners.

Stuart Mills, property director for the Canal & River Trust, said: "This funding is fantastic news for Birmingham and will breathe new life into one of the city's most recognisable and much-loved historic buildings.

"The Roundhouse will be a fantastic place to showcase Birmingham's waterways and heritage and inspire people to explore all that the city has to offer.

"There's an exciting future ahead but to realise it we really want local people to join in and get involved whether that be through volunteering, donating money or simply participating in some of the amazing events and activities that will be taking place."

Lucy Reid, assistant director of operations at the National Trust, added: "The Roundhouse project is all about partnership and co-creation.

"The end result will be an inspiring and atmospheric space at the heart of our city's canal network from which to explore the waterways and the hidden histories of the people who made Birmingham."

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