Birmingham, England’s second city, undoubtedly has a reputation for being second best – especially as a gay destination. With London and Manchester an hour and a half away in either direction, it’s true that much of Birmingham’s indigenous LGBT population has been tempted away in years gone by. However, that is slowly starting to change. Native Brummie, Lucas Owen, talks us through the best bits.
Centred around Hurst Street in the city centre’s Southside district, Birmingham’s gay village has been the subject of significant investment over recent years – as has much of the rest of the city centre. This year’s Birmingham Pride celebrations, held over the Jubilee Weekend, were the biggest ever, with The Saturdays and Stooshe among the many live acts performing.
At the heart of the Industrial Revolution, Birmingham’s reputation as a depressing, manufacturing nerve-centre lingers on. On the edges of the city centre remain many unused and derelict factories, although these are slowly being replaced with modern glass-and-steel edifices. This is no more apparent than in the emerging Eastside technology and education district, which will soon be home to the first new park in Birmingham city centre for over 100 years. It is also the eventual location of the city’s High Speed 2 terminal near Curzon Street, due to open around 2026.
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