The work and achievements of a seven-year-old regeneration programme in inner city Birmingham has been celebrated.
The Aston Pride Family Festival at Aston Villa Football Club and venues throughout the city celebrated Aston Pride – a Government-funded 10-year programme tasked with bringing sustainable regeneration to the area.
Sport played a major part at the event, sponsored by The Birmingham Post’s sister paper the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa FC, Tesco, Pertemps, Urban Living and Aston FM.
Visitors defied the rain to take part in cricket trials at the King Edward’s School playing field in Trinity Road, football and netball tournaments at the Pride-funded Aston Park Sports Pitch and celebrations at the football club.
Similar to previous years, the football club’s car park in Witton Lane was transformed into a festival site with marquees, live entertainment, a music stage, funfair rides, a gladiator joust and food stands.
On the main stage, visitors were treated to performances by rhythm and blues artists Simeon and Jaida, Congolese dance troupe Cocoa, street dancer Shyheim and a dramatic performance by Mansfield Green School.
Simon Topman, independent chairman of Aston Pride, said: “The Aston Pride Family Festival is the brightest community festival in Birmingham and every year it just gets bigger and better.”
In April 2001, £54 million was secured under the second round of the New Deal for Communities programme to improve the area from 2001-2011.
Two years later, the programme was relaunched with a new delivery partnership, bringing greater impetus to the full range of Aston Pride projects being delivered locally.