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Competition ...any other business A roundup of news from Chamber members

Funding to improve Digbeth and extend transport links

Cheque this out: Ashley Kensington with Sian Dhillon (St Basils)

Homeless charity gets funding boost

A Property firm St Joseph has raised £10,000 for Birmingham- based youth homelessness charity, St Basils. The firm’s kind-hearted staff

raised the cash after taking 10 million steps in just 10 days, travelling some 3,798 miles in the process. The donation is set to be used by St Basils to accommodate and provide support to some of the most vulnerable people in the region. Established in 1972, St Basils helps

5,000 young people per year, and housed more than 1,200 vulnerable young people last year at its 37 supported accommodation sites. Jean Templeton, chief executive

at St Basils, said: “We are incredibly grateful to St Joseph’s staff team who have put so much personal effort into raising funds for St Basils. “This is way beyond the extra

mile, literally. Young people tell us that being cared about is really important. Colleagues at St Joseph have really demonstrated how much they care about keeping young people safe and ensuring their lives are not blighted by homelessness. Thank you to everyone one of you. It means a lot.” Ashley Kensington, managing

director at St Joseph, said: “St Joseph shares St Basils’ commitment to supporting young people. “The charity provides vital

services in the West Midlands, preventing and combatting youth homelessness, while helping many young people to regain the stability they need to rebuild their lives.” The £10,000 raised includes

match funding from the Berkeley Foundation – an independent charitable foundation set up by the Berkeley Group.

74 CHAMBERLINK June 2021

The revival of Birmingham’s ‘creative quarter’ has taken another step forward with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) ploughing £15.4m into the redevelopment of Digbeth High Street. Starting next month, the development will

transform Digbeth High Street into a pedestrian- friendly space, with major improvements to public transport, and a reduction in traffic. The work will be completed as part of construction

for the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension. The £227m extension will only be approximately

just over a mile in length and will run from Bull Street to Digbeth, adding four new tram stops to the Metro network. More than half of the route will have no overhead

wires, similar to the recently opened extension from Grand Central to Centenary Square. LEP chairman Tim Pile said: “Digbeth High Street is

at the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside. This redevelopment will transform how visitors, business and residents use this major city centre corridor. “The £15.4m Enterprise Zone funding will make a

difference through enabling wider public realm works that will complement the West Midlands Metro as well as proving improving the environment for walkers, cyclists and public transport users. These

improvements will also maximise upon Digbeth’s location near the landmark Curzon HS2 station. “Across Birmingham, our Enterprise Zone locations

have acted as the catalyst for wider investment and development. This scheme is just another example of how working with our partners in Birmingham City Council, we are driving inclusive economic growth while creating better places for our communities to live and work in.”

‘Support jobs and investment in the Digbeth area for years to come’

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “These

improvements to Digbeth High Street demonstrate how investment in transport infrastructure, in this case our Eastside Metro extension, can have a transformative effect and trigger further investment in our towns and cities. “It is great that work is set to start this summer,

creating local jobs at what is a critical time as we recover from the Covid pandemic. The improved transport links and street environment will also help support jobs and investment in the Digbeth area for years to come.”

Thinktank opens doors to visitors

Thinktank, the Birmingham Science Museum, has reopened to visitors and has introduced a new gallery, ‘Our Changing Planet’. Our Changing Planet has been

opened at a time when climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. The exhibition will explore how

humans have impacted the world and its other residents, the planet’s wildlife. The exhibition features more

than 150 items, from pre-historic tools to the first plastic invented in Birmingham, and from the first prototype vehicle to travel under its own power on Britain’s roads, to part of the first computer used at the Longbridge car factory. Our Changing Planet investigates

how pollution, habitat destruction, species extinction and climate change are radically altering landscapes and lives all over the world. A green sea turtle, corals, platypus and other vulnerable species will illustrate how humanity’s impact on the natural

Open again: Thinktank Museum

world has intensified through time. Thinktank museum manager

Laurence Butler said: “We’re over the moon to be able to welcome visitors back to Thinktank. Our steam engines will be pumping, the city of MiniBrum will be open for play and the brand new Our Changing Planet gallery will be ready to explore. We’ll be limiting capacity and admission will be by pre-booking only, to ensure our

visitors have a safe and fun-packed day out.” Before the coronavirus pandemic

forced Thinktank to close its doors the museum had one of its most successful years on record with more than 243,000 people and 45,500 school children visiting. Thinktank has more than 200 hands-on displays, and showcases many amazing items from the city’s science and engineering collection.

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