It's fair to say that Brum is changing every day before our eyes. There is a lot of work going on to improve our city over the next decade.

But there are some exciting things happening that we don't have to wait so long for.

From a world class hotel and improved city centre transport links to fun tourist attractions and a shopping haven - Birmingham is the place to be.

Here are our seven things to get excited about this year...

New adventure

Picture taken from a drone commissioned by the National Trust
Picture of the Roundhouse taken from a drone commissioned by the National Trust

The historic Roundhouse building became integral to Birmingham’s reputation as a city of 1,000 trades built in 1874.

Shaped like a horseshoe, the Grade II* listed building, which is owned by the Canal &River Trust, will be restored in partnership with the National Trust and with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

An investment of £2.5 million will be ploughed into transforming the 143-year-old Roundhouse into a tourist attraction where people can explore the canals by foot, bike or boat. The attraction will open in 2019.

A world class hotel

Grand Hotel - Colmore Row, Birmingham

Colmore Row is pretty much resembling a street in London's Marlyebone, thanks to the restoration of The Grand hotel facade. And inside, the hotel has been undergoing dramatic renovations.

Some fabulous places have already opened inside The Grand development - The Alchemist, Gusto, 200 Degrees cafe and Tattu (see below)

But The Grand Hotel itself will be the most fabulous of them all. The building, designed in French renaissance style closed in 2002 but the project to restore and modernise the 185 room hotel is nearly coming to an end.

This historic hotel was built in 1879 and hosted the creme de la creme of society from the UK and all over the world. Human rights activist Malcolm X gave his last speech in England here in 1965.

Grand Hotel's Grosvenor Suite
Grand Hotel's Grosvenor Suite will reopen

The Principal Hotel Company to run the hotel once it is completed.

The company has experience of specialises in opening hotels in landmark city centre buildings.

The hotel which has lucrative backing from Paris-based Foncière des Régions is due to be ready to open in late 2019. It will include restoration of the ornate Grosvenor Room and grand staircase.

Tony Green, chief executive of Hortons' Estate, said: "We have always believed that the restoration of The Grand would not be complete if it did not include a luxury hotel.

"After considerable time and effort, we have chosen to work with Principal on the project because they share our commitment to creating the city's finest hotel and because of their impressive track record working on similar buildings in other major cities."

Partying in The Grand's historic boiler room basement

Work will begin on converting the secret basement at The Grand Hotel into a underground pub
Work has begun on converting the secret basement at The Grand Hotel into a underground bar and restaurant

Builders are currently at work transforming The Grand hotel's 5,000 sq ft basement boiler room into an underground haven for 'modern Chinese cuisine and magical cocktails'

And as CGIs show the 150-cover, split-level restaurant will look pretty dramatic.

The owners, brothers Adam and Drew Jones said: "We are hoping to create a restaurant that complements the outstanding features of the space, the results should be beautiful and deliver a unique customer experience that is exclusive to Birmingham.”

Tattu which has two other UK branches offers "contemporary Chinese cuisine that fuses traditional flavours with modern cooking techniques and playful presentation"

How Tattu Birmingham will look when it opens at The Grand Hotel on Colmore Row in early 2019

Diners can look forward to a selection of Tattu’s signature dishes such as beef fillet and caramel soy and delicate saffron black cod. New menu additions, include chilli and sesame roasted scallops served with Chinese sausage, crushed edamame and mint, as well as an Asian pear crumble with green apple, almond and a pink custard. And don't get us started on the cocktail list!

'Attractive and vibrant' Centenary Square reopens

The winning design by Graeme Massie Architects for the revamp of Centenary Square.
The winning design by Graeme Massie Architects for the revamp of Centenary Square.

 

The major transformation scheme to redesign the public space is coming to an end. The new scheme will include a 5cm-deep pool with water jets.

The pool will be drainable so it can host public events.

Edinburgh-based Graham Massie Architects who have designed the project said the redevelopment of Centenary Square which is expected to cost up to £16 million will provide "a new civic space within the heart of Birmingham and, a setting for some of the city’s most important public buildings and planned new development sites."

There will also be 43 tall lighting columns and some changes surrounding the historic Hall of Memory.

A spokesman for the project said: "This important project – creating an attractive and vibrant public square for Birmingham – is being completed in phases.

"The reopening of the Hall of Memory on September 12 marked the first phase of the Centenary Square redevelopment to be handed over since work began last year.

"The final phase is expected to be completed in summer 2019.”

Brummies will be able to tram it all over the city centre

CGI of the new tram extension
CGI of the new tram extension
Work will begin on two phases of Midland Metro Alliance's Birmingham Westside connection.

The first phase connecting Grand Central to Victoria Square and then on to Centenary Square will finish in late 2019.

The second phase which will see tram services extend to the new terminus at 54 Hagley Road via Brindleyplace and Five Ways is due to finish in 2021. Work for Phase 2 will begin in January.

The history of Centenary Square

Centenary Square was named in 1989 to celebrate the city’s centenary status.

It was officially opened by Sir Richard Knowles on June 9, 1991 and the view of its Italianate design from the top of the Hyatt Hotel was magnificent.

The Queen then opened the ICC three days later on June 12, 1991, when she also unveiled the ill-fated Forward Statue.

It was designed to celebrate Birmingham’s role in pioneering the industrial revolution and with the city’s motto as its name.

Among the people portrayed were politician Joseph Chamberlain, University of Birmingham founder Josiah Mason and the Lady of the Arts from the city’s coat of arms.

How West Midlands Metro Birmingham city centre extension will look:

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The city centre will look less like a building site

CGI image of the new building

Yes, there is a hell of a lot of development projects around our city. And yep, they will take a while to come to fruition. But the good news is that, as well as Centenary Square, the end is in sight for a couple of other projects.

The completion of Three Snowhill and One Chamberlain Square office building spaces - might not sound terribly exciting. But these sparkling new buildings will definitely spruce up the city centre landscape.

Primark Pavillions opens

CGI of world's largest Primark opening on Birmingham High Street
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The Pavillions is reopening! Well kind of. Back in 2016 our longstanding but rather neglected The Pavilions shopping centre closed for good. And it's fair to say we've been waiting a while for its replacement.

Now the countdown is on for the launch of the world's biggest Primark - here in Birmingham.

Whether you're a Primark fan or not, the fact they have chosen Brum to house the £60 million new store adds to the reasons why our city is becoming a popular shopping destination for visitors.

Hoardings have started to come down on the store, and it is hoped it will launch in Spring 2019.

Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments below.