Our project to restore the Roundhouse in Birmingham has commenced on site. The 19th century canal-side stables and stores in the city centre are to be transformed into a hub from which to explore the city by foot, bike or boat. The project is a pioneering partnership between the Canal & River Trust and the National Trust, with vital funding from the National Lottery, to bring an important Birmingham landmark back to life through an innovative blend of heritage and enterprise.
The Roundhouse is one of Birmingham’s most interesting and iconic buildings. Built in 1874 by the Birmingham Corporation, it was originally used as stables and stores. Designed by local architect W. H. Ward, the horseshoe-shaped building has become a real landmark in the city. Unlike most of the neighbouring Victorian architecture, this curious building survived the centuries and in 1976 was given a Grade II* listing due to its historic importance. But by the early 2000s, it had begun to fall into disrepair.
As well as offering a base from which to explore the canal network, the restored Roundhouse will include a café, a cycle hire and repair workshop, volunteering opportunities and a shared working space. It is hoped that it will attract 50,000 people a year, both from the local community and visitors from further afield. The project has been awarded £2.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and funding from Historic England.
The restoration work will sensitively celebrate the building’s history while connecting it with the waterways and communities that have shaped its story. The entire building from roof to cobbles is being restored, ensuring that it can continue to tell the history of Birmingham. In 2020 the Roundhouse will open to the public as an exciting new destination for Birmingham.