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Going, going, gone! Fletchers Walk and old Birmingham Conservatoire buildings bulldozed as £700m Paradise project gathers pace

By Andrew Turton | Birmingham | News | Published:

It was the dingy, rundown shopping centre which was a relic of Birmingham's concrete jungle.

Land next to Birmingham Town Hall is being cleared ready for the new Paradise development. Picture: Paradise Birmingham

But now demolition teams are clearing Fletchers Walk to make way for the £700 million Paradise development.

A huge digger sits on a pile of rubble where the much-maligned centre once stood.

Work to knock down the former Royal Birmingham Conservatoire headquarters and Adrian Boult Hall next door has also started.

New pictures show the views from above as work continues in clearing the site at the heart of the city.

The buildings sat alongside Birmingham's Central Library as monuments to the city's Brutalist architecture

The city's Brutalist architecture grew in the 1960s and 70s mainly under the direction of city architect John Madin.

WATCH the demolition work taking place

Demolition at Paradise Birmingham

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Fletchers Walk was home to various shops, bars and restaurants including Spanish eatery Casa Paco, the Moroccan Zagora restaurant, Subside bar and the Body Garden Tattoo parlour.

It shut back in 2015 as plans gathered pace to knock down the centre along Birmingham's Central Library and Paradise Forum shopping area.

The centre became notorious for its appearance with its low ceilings and dark walkways turning many shoppers off.

Zagora Restaurant in Fletchers Walk in 2006

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But Fletchers Walk did have a final lease of life when plans for its transformation were agreed.

With Paradise Forum closed off as work to knock down the central library got under way, Fletchers Walk was made the main route for people getting from Broad Street and Centenary Square to Victoria Square.

SEE the vision for the next Paradise Birmingham development

Paradise Birmingham - The Vision

Its walls were painted white, new lights were hung up and the shops cleared with bright boards showcasing the Paradise plans.

Yet the walkway finally closed last month to allow the bulldozers to move in.

Birmingham Conservatoire has moved to a purpose-built £57 million venue on the Eastside of the city.

Work has been carried out to start to clear the site. Picture: Paradise Birmingham

The first phase of the Paradise project includes 355,000 sq ft of office space – which has been let to business services company PwC – aimed at meeting demand from the city's growing business sector.

Chamberlain Square will also be revamped with work completed next year.

Heavy machines make quick work of demolishing the shopping centre and conservatoire. Picture: Paradise Birmingham

Work on the office buildings at One and Two Chamberlain Square will be complete in 2019.

A planning application will be submitted for the second stage of the scheme, One Centenary Way - a further office development.

For details visit www.paradisebirmingham.co.uk

Andrew Turton

By Andrew Turton
Digital Journalist

Digital journalist based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton. Interested in breaking news and social media. Get in touch on Twitter @aturton_star or andrew.turton@expressandstar.co.uk

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