Finally a visit actually in Birmingham!
It took me a while to find out who actually owned the building and whether permission to visit was… permissible?
It wasn’t and I duly heeded their advice due to health and safety concerns… ahem.
The Co-op factory’s red hue contrasts sharply with the modern buildings surrounding it. It currently sits in the middle of the Eastside Locks redevelopment site, which, according to the architects, aims to create:
a place of vibrancy,beauty and, critically in this case, to create long term benefits for Birmingham.
Whether this will be the case remains to be seen. According to the masterplan for Eastside Locks and the planning permission, the Belmont Works will be turned in to a new hotel sitting in front of ‘Arrival Square’.
I’ll be honest, this was the most nervous I’ve been in a while visiting a building.
First of all there is a construction site right next to the building and it was disconcerting to hear a giant digger whilst inside the crumbling remains of the building.
Secondly there seems to be a running theme with urban exploration. Asbestos. I’m considering buying a breathing mask but it may look a bit conspicuous wearing a white mask with a camera around my neck.
The historic building dates back to 1899 and has served as a factory making rubber, underwear and pianos. Hopefully not combined though.
Unfortunately a fire gutted the building in 2007 and strong winds toppled over much of the roof.
Taking risks is all part of urban exploration but I didn’t feel like trying my luck this time. Maybe some hearty explorers will pick up where I left off?