About Roundhouse Birmingham
A very big hello from the team at Roundhouse Birmingham.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you when we open in 2021.
Learn about what Roundhouse is, how you find us, and what you will experience when you get here.
What is Roundhouse Birmingham?
Roundhouse Birmingham is a heritage enterprise and independent charity.
It was created through a landmark partnership between by Canal & River Trust and National Trust to find a new and sustainable purpose for one of Birmingham’s hidden gems, the Roundhouse.
Roundhouse Birmingham will offer visitors a chance to See The City Differently through a range of volunteer-powered guided city and canal tours, while securing a sustainable future for the historic site through our range of lettable spaces. With our custodianship of the Roundhouse and its story as a starting point, we will create links between our visitors, volunteers, and city.
We believe in the social benefit of connecting people with the unique stories and special places that Birmingham has to offer, across streets, canals and public spaces.
We will work with our volunteers and partners to find innovative and entrepreneurial ways to champion our city’s heritage, doing our bit to make Birmingham a destination for visitors from near or far.
The History Bit
In 1874, a large, circular brick building emerged on Sheepcote Street, between the London North Western Railway line and the Birmingham Canal.
Part of a massive city improvement act, the building was commissioned by the Corporation of Birmingham through an architectural competition, which was won by local architect W H Ward.
Ward’s Roundhouse was used as a stables and stores for the Birmingham Corporation’s Public Works Department.
A unique example of Birmingham’s civic and industrial heritage, the Grade II* listed Roundhouse has stood the test of time across many uses and some periods of dereliction.
In 2020 the building was subject to a full-scale renovation, which saved the historic fabric of the building; re-purposing the site for the 21st century.
Reviving the Roundhouse
The project to revive the Roundhouse began in 2013 and is a collaboration between a range of partners and funders.
The Canal & River Trust and National Trust are our parent organisations.
National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded Roundhouse Birmingham an enterprise grant in 2017.
Historic England awarded Roundhouse Birmingham a grant for building works in 2019.
The project also received support from Sport England and a range of supporters groups, trusts and foundations.
Reinventing the Roundhouse
In early 2019, the full-scale renovation of the Roundhouse building began.
The works included structural support, new windows, completely new services, roof replacement and insulation, and relaying sections of the courtyard for drainage and accessibility.
The building is now segmented into a series of spaces ready for the Roundhouse team and prospective office and café tenants to move in.
We are a charity
Roundhouse Birmingham is an independent charity with the aim of making this beautiful old building self-sustaining by giving it a new purpose. When you buy a ticket for one of our tours, purchase something in our gift shop or become one of our tenants, you’re directly helping to support the future of the Roundhouse, enabling our work with the local community.
Canal & River Trust
We’re the charity who look after and bring to life 2,000 miles of waterways, because we believe that life is better by water. Our research shows that spending time by water, whether it be your lunch break, daily commute or just a weekend stroll, really does make us feel happier and healthier. We’re working with volunteers and communities across England and Wales to transform canals and rivers into spaces where local people want to spend time and feel better. We know this will bring wellbeing opportunities to millions.
The National Trust is a conservation charity founded in 1895 by three people: Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley, who saw the importance of the nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. Today, across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we continue to look after places so people and nature can thrive. The challenges of the coronavirus pandemic have shown this is more important than ever. In Birmingham, we are working in partnership with others to celebrate, help care for and protect a range of places and outdoors spaces that are important to local people, and of which the city can be proud.
Gratefully supported by
Historic England is the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from barrows and battlefields to parks and potteries. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.
The Roundhouse Team