Location, location, location! Every great not for profit digital co-op working exclusively with NGOs and charities (ok, ok — yes, that’s just us) needs a lovely corner of the world to call home. For us that’s Digbeth.
Digbeth is the creative quarter, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has called it the ‘the place to be in Birmingham’; full of huge, reworked factory spaces being repurposed by artists, creatives, cafes, and not for profit digital co-ops working exclusively with NGOs and charities (alright, again that’s just us). Our space at Fazeley Studios is a beautiful, repurposed loft but the main draw for us was the chance to be in Digbeth and here’s why:
5 reasons why we’re in Digbeth
1) Things going on: Cinemas, go karting, laser tag…YES laser tag, are all on our doorstep in Digbeth. During the year, regular arts and music events take place such as Supersonic and Flatpack and there are always gigs going on around the area with the O2 Academy, BIMM music school and loads of great live music pubs.
2) Food: As the old saying goes, a co-op marches on its stomach and we’re blessed with great places to eat like the Custard Factory, Kanteen, Original Patty Men, Digbeth Dining Club (regular street food event), and the largest zero waste supermarket in the UK The Clean Kilo.
3) Drinks: The fine British tradition of the occasional afterwork drink is a pretty important institution. There are more hipster bars than are healthy (particular favourites are Clink and Ruin) as well as traditional gems like The Old Crown, a Grade II listed building from 1368.
4) Access: Digbeth has a distinct feel but is bang in the middle of Birmingham, just a 10 min walk to the Bullring and New Street Station. The new HS2 station is also being built in Digbeth at the end of our road, meaning soon there’ll be even quicker access to London directly from the area.
5) History and future: The buildings in the area are dripping with the industrial history of the city from, Bird’s Custard Factory through to spaces that gave starts to the UB40 and the originators of Heavy Metal. As tech and creative teams move into the spaces buildings are being given a new lease of life and as the street art centre of city, a new layer of history too.
John Dunford is the Campaigns Lead at The Developer Society, a not-for-profit digital agency, working with NGOs and groups with a progressive mission to help make the world we live in a better place.
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