Our debate last month – ‘How can Birmingham better celebrate its built heritage?’ – part of Hidden Spaces: Unlocked, was well attended and initial feedback on the night very positive with good comments and discussions during the open floor section.

Many commented that it would be good to continue the dialogue, either though similar events in the future or via our website. Email us if you agree.

Thanks to Gavin Orton for chairing the discussion and to our panel for beginning the discussions:

Katie Kershaw – Planning Committee member and BYPY 2015 winner

Stephen Hartland – The Victorian Society

Joe Holyoak – The 20th Century Society

Nicholas Molyneux – Historic England

Kelvin Rose – Birmingham Trees for Life


Birmingham is well known as a city that continually reinvents itself. Often this means the demolition of areas of our built heritage but is this approach the right way to make a new, bright, shiny and better future? What does this approach say about how we view and celebrate our built heritage?

What is our built heritage? Surely it is the terracotta halls, the stone columns, the crooked timber frame but what about the pre-cast concrete panels? When we talk of built heritage, it often focuses on buildings, but what about the spaces between them – the streets, the squares and the parks?