Canal and River trust welcomed proposals unveiled by Birmingham City Council (BCC) for the creation of a new canal quarter as part of the city’s vision for using HS2 as a catalyst for regeneration and growth.
“We have been leading the work, alongside BCC and other partners, to ensure the development of HS2 in Birmingham protects and unlocks the potential of the canal in Eastside and Digbeth,” they announced.
The canal has the potential to transform the area and create better and more attractive connections with the rest of the city. As well as being an important historic and cultural space in the city, the canal provides essential pedestrian and cycle connections between Birmingham City University, Eastside Locks and Digbeth and opportunities for visiting boats.
The canal also forms an important waterway link into the city from the South, and is critical to developing sustainable use of this corridor into Birmingham.
Richard Parry, chief executive, Canal and River Trust, said: “The proposals to create a new canal quarter are a great opportunity for the Canal and River Trust and for the city and we are pleased that the Council has recognised the potential of the canal corridor. This is a creative and positive response to the challenge presented by HS2 which we believe will mean its impact can be a positive one for the canal at Curzon Street and for the people who visit and live in Birmingham.”
Peter Mathews CMG, chair of the West Midlands Waterways Partnership, said: “Birmingham’s historic canal network has played a central role in the city’s regeneration. HS2 provides the potential catalyst to extend that regeneration to the Eastside and Digbeth Quarters and once again, the canal corridor provides a key component of the overall regeneration plan. The potential for waterside developments, high-quality public access points to the towpath and opportunities to bring additional activity to the canal corridor set out in the council’s masterplan are a welcome step.”
Press Release, February 27, 2014