Glenn HowellsPort Loop, a once neglected area of Birmingham, is now somewhere that is being rejuvenated thanks to a joint venture partnership between Places for People and Urban Splash, working alongside landowners Birmingham City Council and Canal and Rivers Trust.
Together they are creating a vibrant waterside neighbourhood —and a blueprint for future housing developments. Upon completion it will deliver more than 1,150 new homes, commercial workspaces, parks, green spaces and community facilities. Following the successful completion of the first two phases, the community here is already benefiting from communal areas, having already created three gardens for residents, as well as a one-acre public park for everyone wishing to visit and play in Port Loop. This green space, and the site’s surrounding canal paths, serve as the perfect place for a growing calendar of community events nurtured by the JV; they include the recently launched Park Run at Edgbaston Reservoir as well as outdoor art exhibitions and workshops, free film nights, lunches and children’s activities all scheduled in the coming months, whilst future plans include the transformation of the 100,000 sq ft Tubeworks which will become a thriving hub for start-up businesses, cafes, bars and restaurants, plus many more exciting ventures as well as phase three of further housing. Critically, Port Loop is being delivered with sustainability in mind both with the delivery of the landscaping and green spaces, as well as the creation of energy efficient housing, making it a worthy contender for this award.