21 pictures of Birmingham City Centre's 'grottiest spots', according to locals

Here’s a closer look at the most ‘grottiest spots’ in Birmingham City Centre, according to locals

Birmingham, the UK’s second-largest city, is known for its vibrant culture and rich history.

The city centre, in particular, is a hub of activity, attracting locals and tourists alike with its array of shops, restaurants, and attractions.

However, Like any major city, it has its less glamorous sides. Locals have pointed out several areas within Birmingham city centre that stand out as the ‘grottiest spots’.

Eight areas within the city centre have been singled out by locals as the ‘grottiest spots’. These include Dale End, New Meeting Street, Carrs Lane, St Martin’s Queensway, Stephenson Place, Union Passage, Hinckley Street, and Smallbrook Queensway.

These spots’ streets and building appearance, have been identified for their lack of upkeep, unattractive appearance, or general state of disrepair.

Phil, a resident of Birmingham for over 14 years, expressed his disappointment over the state of these areas. He said, “It’s a shame to see these rough areas in Birmingham, especially considering the Commonwealth Games held here two years ago.

“The city centre was a major link to the games around Birmingham, and many changes happened here at the time, except the most messy areas, so I hope those areas will soon (aesthetically) fit in with the rest of the city centre.”

Birmingham’s city centre was a focal point during the Commonwealth Games, in 2022, which brought significant attention and economic benefit to the area.

The Games were a monumental event, contributing at least £870 million to the UK economy, with over half of this impact directly benefiting the West Midlands region, according to Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

The event supported thousands of jobs and marked a high point in visitor numbers, showcasing Birmingham on a global stage.

Birmingham City Centre, is also a major transport hub, due to its central location. For getting around Birmingham, the city centre has extensive public transport network, which includes buses, trams and trains.

John, who was born and raised in Birmingham, routinely commutes to the city centre, passing through the ‘grotty’ areas, St Martin's Queensway and Carrs Lane, on his way to work.

John, points out that “These areas are what I think everyone constantly try their best to avoid in the city centre. They give off an impression that makes people want to avoid them. Whether it’s the smell of urine, abandoned buildings, vandalism, or just a runaway vibe, when walking there.

“It’s crazy that these are essential routes to get where you need to go across Birmingham.”

Looking forward, Birmingham has ambitious plans to transform its city centre.

The Big City Plan aims to create a world-class city centre over the next 20 years, with significant developments including new public spaces, enhanced walking and cycling routes, and the construction of over 5,000 new homes. Additionally, redevelopment proposals are in place to revitalise parts of the city centre, such as Smallbrook Queensway, with plans for new apartments and improved access to surrounding districts.

The legacy of the Commonwealth Games and the ongoing development initiatives offer hope for a rejuvenated Birmingham, where the vibrancy of the city centre extends to every corner, and the ‘grottiest spots’ become a thing of the past.

Let’s take a closer look at these spots and delve into why they have been singled out:

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