Consultation launched on ‘pedestrian-first’ future for Birmingham’s business district / by Broadway Malyan

A public consultation has been launched on the first phase of a transformational £10m public realm improvement scheme in the heart of the Birmingham.

Snow Hill Square will be completely redesigned in a £3.3m scheme to provide an attractive and welcoming gateway to the city centre from Snow Hill rail station. Putting pedestrians first, the square will establish a new benchmark for public space in the city, adding value and attracting investment.

The redesigned square is at the heart of a number of changes to the Snow Hill area that will consider street usage and provide more space and comfort for pedestrians as well as prioritising pedestrians wherever possible and introducing more ‘staying/stopping’ space.

Broadway Malyan has been commissioned by Colmore Business Improvement District (BID) and Birmingham City Council to draw up the proposals – the practice’s largest urban public realm scheme in the UK.

Broadway Malyan Director Danny Crump said: “Public open spaces are highly valuable to the liveability of city centre – that enigmatic quality that creates a sense of place and makes it feel good to be somewhere.

“Snow Hill Square is a real opportunity to properly utilise a valuable public space in really vibrant part of Birmingham while also providing an appropriate welcome for this key gateway into Birmingham.

“We have enjoyed working with key stakeholders and the local business community to evolve the concept proposals and it’s exciting to see the scheme move closer towards delivery.”


The new square will create a decluttered environment with areas of calm providing opportunities for workers and visitors to enjoy the space throughout the day.

A proposed glass pavilion entrance to a new underground restaurant at One Colmore Row features prominently in the new square, alongside a large timber ‘City Bench’, designed to be a robust and beautifully detailed feature within the square.

Special attention is being paid to street and floor lighting throughout to enable better daytime and evening use of the square.

High quality natural stone has been selected to provide an enduring and unifying surface finish.

Wayfinding elements play on local Anglo Saxon history and topography with ground-level granite etched units featuring abstracted geometric details from Birmingham maps.

Rob Valentine, Colmore BID Vice Chairman, added: “Snow Hill Square makes a suitable extension of the earlier work of Colmore BID in Church Street Square and Colmore Square.

“Though a technically and legally demanding project, involving a live railway tunnel and multiple ownership interests, this space is a true gateway into the Colmore Business District and needs to be a high quality environment.

“I’m very pleased with the design, and can’t wait to see this example of business-led place-making become a reality.”

Birmingham City Council Leader, Cllr John Clancy, described the plans as ‘exciting’.

"Snow Hill Station is an important gateway into Birmingham and these designs are a clear signal of our intent to develop a hugely important part of the city,” he said.

"Colmore BID and Birmingham City Council share a vision for Snow Hill Square and this exciting project is yet more proof that big things are happening in this city."

Find out more about the consultation process at