Digbeth: the Coolest Place in the UK
… that’s how The Times newspaper described Digbeth!
If you are from Birmingham, or live in Birmingham, you might know Digbeth as a long forgotten and abandoned part of the City Center. It’s dark, derelict, foreboding and intimidating post industrial streets were once a no go area for all but the bravest.
Digbeth can’t be mentioned without the name Peaky Blinders – but Digbeth has truly come a long way: now, it’s streets are bustling with people and bursting with energy and optimism.
Located in the heart of Birmingham, Digbeth is now a vibrant area that was dubbed “the coolest place to live in the UK” by the Times newspaper.
Even the BBC has plans to move from its current home in the Mailbox to new premises at the former Typhoo Tea factory.
Check out these incredible images from inside the derelict Typhoo Tea Factory on Flicker: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmxGqArp
The City’s comedian Joe Lycett filmed his Channel 4 show Late Night Lycett from The Bond on Fazeley Street – a collection of five beautifully-restored historic buildings as part of an £18 million redevelopment next to the Grand Union Canal.
Find out more about The Bond here: https://www.thebonddigbeth.com/
Digbeth is changing, but did you know how fast?
Digbeth is known for its vibrant street art, independent shops, restaurants and bars, and its thriving arts and culture scene. But the incredible rebuilding of the High Street and new tram tracks show that this is not just window dressing! Everything, even the ancient Victorian sewage pipes have been replaced!
The iconic Custard Factory has been famous for years – but have you heard of the ZELLIG – part of the Custard Factory still owned by the man that started the Digbeth regeneration: Benny Gray?
The ZELLIG is special: it still holds fast to the philosophy of providing a home to small, independent businesses – that’s why we started our Pilates Studio there some six years ago.
Michelle, the manager of the Zellig tells me what makes Zellig special: “creative community, beautiful building and independent businesses…”
With a history that dates back to the 17th century, Digbeth is home to many old factories and industrial buildings that have been transformed into modern living spaces, studios, and event venues. It’s a hub of creativity, innovation, and diversity that’s attracting a new generation of residents and visitors alike.
Whether you’re looking for a night out on the town or a place to call home, Digbeth has something for everyone.
Why is it the coolest place to live in the UK?
What did the Times say?
Here’s the link to the full article: Take me to the Times Newspaper
Paraphrased, from the times:
“Cool” is in the eye of the beholder. What might seem like a hip neighbourhood to some will likely resemble a slum to others. Conversely, when what was once a no-go area starts sprouting artisan coffee shops with upcycled furniture, young bankers will think they’re living on the edge, but artists will flee to the nearest run-down seaside town, where the rents are cheaper and there are still some unconverted warehouses.
When it comes to finding the “new cool”, it’s about spotting locations that still shock when named in polite company: “What? Really? I don’t believe you!”
Yet when property values soar, the shriekers complain that they didn’t get in there early enough. One case in point might be Digbeth, where most old industrial derelict sites and abandoned factories and warehouses have been brought up to be developed..
The “Home” section of The Times has picked a dozen of the coolest ’hoods, at different stages of evolution and appealing to different ages, from Deptford to Digbeth…
1 Birmingham: Digbeth
“The digital revolution has been largely responsible for getting Digbeth’s post-industrial heart pumping again, with creative types setting up in the former manufacturing buildings. In a further nod to its history, Digbeth’s first residential square is under construction on the site of a curtain-track plant. At the converted (Bird’s) Custard Factory, cafes, shops, a cinema and arts venues have sprung up, so there are more reasons to hang out after hours — and not just for the crispy chicken wings sold by the kilo at the Old Crown, officially the best bar snacks in the postcode. You’ll find anything from goat curry to deep-fried vegan ice cream, wraps grilled in the souped-up engine bay of a Mini, and the Digbeth Dining Club, a weekly food and drink festival held on Lower Trinity Street from Thursday to Saturday.”“‘Hipsterfication’ is kept in check by down-to-earth Brummie spirit and there’s a welcoming inclusive vibe. A “barter-for-knowledge school” at the Impact Hub, a community-driven enterprise on Oxford Street, invites people to teach a class in exchange for things they’re in need of, even if it’s just help with finding a flat.”
Why The Times loves it?
“It’s playing a not so peaky blinder.”