Former HP Sauce warehouse in Birmingham to be relaunched - first look at the development plans
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It’s a former Victorian factory and warehouise in Digbeth which once produced ice and later stored Britain’s iconic HP Sauce.
Now The Bond on Fazeley Street is set to be transformed into a new hub for television, film and digital content production.
The Digbeth Estate (Oval Real Estate) - working with Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and Create Central - has partnered with some of Birmingham’s best designers and architects to reimagine the venue for the next generation.
Sitting at the junction of the River Rea and the Grand Union Canal, with its own wharf, The Bond has bold is a landmark building in Birmingham - and there are bold ambitions for it bo become the epicentre of screen and digital talent in the Midlands - along with the rest of Digbeth and Birmingham.
As well as being the former HP Sauce warehouse - the iconic condiment named after the Houses of Parliament which was produced in Aston before controversially being moved to the Netherlands after the brand was bought by Heinz - was derelict for 30 years.
But the new plans aim to harness the embodied carbon of the older building whilst introducing modern technology. It will benefit from being situated in Digbeth, Birmingham’s Creative Quarter, which is a cradle for businesses of all sizes - from thriving independents to internationals.
The BBC is set to open its new broadcast centre in the area in 2026, a move which will also see MasterChef set up home in Digbeth in 2024. Steven Knight’s proposed film studio and HS2 will also be joining Digbeth soon.
How many buildings are at The Bond?
The Bond comprises five main structures which provide 55,000 sq ft for businesses of all sizes, including event spaces, screening rooms, pod rooms, canalside studios and its own wharf: First Floor 4,761 sq ft, Third Floor 8,169 sq ft and Third Floor Mezzanine, Toll House Ground Floor 2,135 sq ft and First Floor 3,019 sq ft and Retort House 5,974 sq ft.
The Bond will also be available for event hire, offering state of the art spaces suitable for a variety of events ranging from screenings, conferences, film shoots and award ceremonies.
What else do we know about Oval Estates?
Oval has been investing and developing buildings in Birmingham for over 20 years and has partnered with influential industry body Create Central and GBSLEP to bring The Bond back to life.
James Craig, founder of Oval Real Estate, said “Oval Real Estate develop, manage and invest in buildings throughout the UK. Specialising in spaces sometimes overlooked, we aim to leave buildings and neighbourhoods better than we found them, and as custodians of the Digbeth Estate, we are working with West Midlands Combined Authority and Birmingham City Council to deliver meaningful change in Digbeth by continuing the careful transformation of the area.
“We are looking forward to revealing the Creative Content Hub at The Bond in 2023. As the Midlands’ newest production hub, The Bond will be an epicentre for film, media and tech within the growing Digbeth community.
“The revival of the Bond serves as a reminder that Birmingham can turn its hand to anything; taking landmarks from the Industrial Revolution and making them relevant for the Digital Revolution. Something Birmingham can be rightly proud of.”
Create Central Chair, Ed Shedd, said, “When Create Central was launched in 2019, the Members pitched the idea of a content hub - it’s so exciting to see real, tangible results from all the industry’s hard work paying off.
“The Creative Content Hub will be a huge catalyst to kick-start the sector post-pandemic. It is just one of the many ways the West Midlands is at the forefront of developing new ways of working that will re-invent and future-proof traditional television, film and wider digital content production.”