Over £3millions to restore roundhouse

Published: Wednesday, 24 May 2017

THE Canal & River Trust in partnership with the National Trust are to 'revitalise' the Grade II listed Birmingham Roundhouse into a city base 'from which to explore Birmingham’s famous canals by foot, bike or boat'.

It is not clear how the canals will be 'explored by boat' from the Roundhouse, as there is no hire from there, though cylcles will be hired.

roundhousebirStables and stores

The Roundhouse was built in 1874 by the Birmingham Corporation and was originally used as stables and stores. Designed by local architect W.H. Ward, the horse-shoe shaped building has become a landmark within the city but over the last ten years the majority of it has been steadily falling into disrepair.

The investment from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), together with the two heritage organisations, will see the building restored and rejuvenated as a focal point on the city’s canals at a total cost of £3.3 millions.

Café and cycle hire

When complete the Roundhouse will include a café, a cycle hire and repair workshop, volunteering opportunities and a shared working space. According to The Trust it is anticipated that the Roundhouse will attract over 50,000 people a year, both from the local community and visitors from further afield.

A fundraising appeal will also be launched to raise the additional funding needed to bring the project to life. The £3.3m scheme was awarded an initial development grant of £225,000 by HLF in December 2015 and has now been given a full £2.5m award to enable the scheme to go ahead. The remaining £800.000 has been provided by Canal & River Trust and National Trust.

'Fantastic news'

Stuart Mills, Property Director for the Canal & River Trust, enthused:

“This funding is fantastic news for Birmingham, and will breathe new life into one of the city’s most recognisable and much-loved historic buildings. The Roundhouse will be a fantastic place to showcase Birmingham’s waterways and heritage and inspire people to explore all that the city has to offer.

“There’s an exciting future ahead but to realise it we really want local people to join in and get involved whether that be through volunteering, donating money or simply participating in some of the amazing events and activities that will be taking place.”