As part of our joint venture with Urban Splash we have been working with landowners the Canal & River Trust and Birmingham City Council to transform the disused site, have taken delivery of plants and materials which will be used in the new Port Loop park – set to open early this summer. 

The park, the first in central Birmingham for over 10 years, will offer an expansive green space of almost one acre in size for the city’s residents and visitors. It is adjacent to the first Houses at Port Loop – which are on site and on sale now.

Talbot Landscapes – who secured the contract to deliver the hard and soft landscaping together with site formation – along with the JV partners, has taken delivery of a range of trees and shrubs which they will plant throughout the site as part of the landscape scheme. This delivery took place using the adjacent waterways and the midlands canal network. 

Going with the flow

The arrival of the materials brings the canal back into its original use. Originally known as Icknield Port Loop Canal it was engineered by James Brindley and opened to traffic on 6th November 1769. Birmingham businessmen believed that raw materials and manufactured goods could be better moved by canal – with records showing that the first ever boat-load of coal to arrive via the Icknield Port Loop waterway reduced costs by 50% - with coal coming in at 7 shillings per tonne. In the years after its launch, the canal was extended and reached Wolverhampton, with access to the ports of Bristol, Liverpool and Hull. 

Adnan Saif, regional director at the Canal & River Trust, added: “Birmingham’s canals are enjoying a renaissance and we know how important these green places are for the wellbeing of the people who live and work in the city.  Although the waterway’s primary focus has moved away from freight transport, to the wellbeing of local people, it’s wonderful to see goods still being moved by water, taking lorries and vans off our congested roads.”

The park is set to complete in May this year; within it there will be playful grass mounds plus a lawn on which residents and local community groups can host events, festivals and other permitted uses.

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