Birmingham's Chinatown: Giant arch planned to welcome visitors
A giant traditional Chinese arch is planned in Birmingham's Chinatown to welcome visitors.
The 40ft arch and traditional Chinese dragons are part of plans for a new multi-million pound public square project.
Pedestrianised areas will be created by closing off through-roads.
The arch would welcome visitors to the Southside Square development which is intended to transform the area around Hurst Street, Ladywell Walk and Thorp Street.
The square would be used for markets, festivals and outdoor performances.
The dragons on plinths would stand at the Hurst Street entrance to the area in the scheme which has been dreamt up by the Southside Business Improvement District , the Chinese community, the Birmingham Hippodrome and city council as the latest step in the transformation of the city centre.
Traffic would be removed from part of Ladywell Walk and Hurst Street up to Thorp Street with pedestrian and cycle routes enhanced.
Southside Square is the latest potential development to be announced in the district following the council's planning committee approving a £70 million regeneration project on Smallbrook Queensway, including plans for one of Birmingham's tallest residential buildings and the demolition of the Ringway Centre.
The Chinatown improvements are being developed through the Southside Link project, part of the Enterprise Zone Connecting Opportunities programme which is being delivered by the city council.
Funding will be sought from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership's Enterprise Zone, Section 106 funds from recent nearby residential schemes, and contributions from local businesses, organisations and community stakeholders.
Paul Garry, chairman of Southside Business Improvement District, said: "Southside Square is part of the wider regeneration of this part of the city, championed by Southside Business Improvement District in its remit to improve the area for all. We anticipate the Square will provide a safe and welcoming environment for all visitors and residents to enjoy and we are working hard with our partners to make this project a reality."
Councillor John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "This is an important stage in ongoing plans to transform the south side of the city centre, delivering better public spaces and an improved quality of life for residents and visitors.
"Together with the recent announcement of a £70 million plan to redevelop Smallbrook Queensway, Southside Square will give a new heart and stronger identity to Chinatown, as well as extending the benefits of the New Street Station redevelopment with improved pedestrian and cycle links."