Stronger Communities funded Heritage Trails unveiled at celebration

Published: 14th Dec 2022

Birmingham organisations awarded grants from the city council’s Stronger Communities fund have unveiled a network of trails navigating the city’s history.

Developed with community groups and local historians, there are now trails covering 20 miles of the city, designed to highlight diverse stories of settlement and unheard histories of these areas.

Organisations behind some of the routes exploring communities, heritage and what it means to be a ‘Brummie’ unveiled their trails at a celebration event held at the Old Library in Digbeth yesterday (13 December 2022).

This is one of the five Stronger Communities workstreams funded by Birmingham City Council, working with BVSC, using an allocation of £500,000 from the council’s £6million Commonwealth Games Community Fund.

Legacy West Midlands oversaw the Heritage Trails initiative awarding £5,000 grants for each trail - 20 have been created, and two more are to be developed by Faith Neighbourhoods Changemakers and Big Local (Birchfield) next year.

Among the trails created are a tree trail around Norton Hall Family and Children Centre in Saltley, the Birchfield Heritage Trail and The Real Peaky Blinders historical tour of Deritend and Digbeth.

Heritage will also be part of the council’s Visitor Destination Plan, a number of Birmingham tourism hero themes – including heritage – are being developed to establish a cohesive identity and narrative to promote the city to domestic and international visitors.

Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Community Safety and Equalities, said: “The Commonwealth Games was a real celebration of Birmingham and what it means to be a proud Brummie, something the rest of the world witnessed for themselves during the summer.

“Birmingham is a diverse, welcoming and inclusive place – and the heritage trails that have been created to help create civic pride, cohesion and inclusion, are shedding light on some of our communities’ histories and their untold stories.

“The recent Census has shown that we are a ‘super-diverse’ city, which is not a surprise to anyone who lives or works here – and we want to show how that is one of our many strengths, uniting our population and tackling inequalities.

“The wide range of groups that have helped bring these trails to life are also helping us achieve key legacy aims from the Commonwealth Games.”

Sian Campbell, Heritage Officer at Legacy West Midlands, added: “It has been an amazing year for heritage in Birmingham, this has been Evidenced in the celebration that we had.

“The roots of Legacy West Midlands are found in heritage and so it has been a tremendous pleasure to work with and assist the organisations in bringing their own heritage trials to fruition.

“This is a small part of a large heritage work that needs to continue in Birmingham, and legacy West Midlands and are very happy to be a part of the journey.”