It’s 50 years since the iconic King Kong statue stood tall and strong in the Bull Ring in Birmingham city centre.
Modelled on the fictional monster gorilla from the 1933 film the sculpture - in the former Mazoni Gardens which has since been redeveloped - was met with amazement and admiration from Brummies - who still talk about it today.
Now the people of Birmingham and visitors of the city will be able to enjoy the magnificence of King Kong once more - as a new improved version of the statue is returning this summer, this time with its own park!
King Kong the return will see a 7m tall statue of the icon in King Kong Park at Great Hampton Row in the Jewellery Quarter in time for the Commonwealth Games which begin on July 28 and finish on August 8.
The festival-style pop up park is being especially designed to bring together the local community, visitors, athletes and tourists in a celebration of Birmingham.
And the statue itself has been created with the help of the family of Nicholas Monro - who was the sculptor of the original 1970s King Kong.
His son Joe and daughter Joe have been working closely with the team at Birmingham-based property developer Cordia Blackswan who have instigated King Kong’s return. The new version has been produced by Gloucestershire-based RoboCarv,
Cordelia Blackswan has submitted plans to include the King Kong statue in their Chung Ying Plaza development in Thorp Street in the Southside.
The property developers also have nine projects along Great Hampton Street (more details below).
What else is happening at King King Park in the Jewellery Quarter?
Working together with local artists, one of Birmingham’s biggest independent food operators and event organisers, the park will host live music, sport events and street food and drink suppliers in the run up to and during the Games.
Commonwealth Games events will be livestreamed on a big screen, with seating and refreshments available from local suppliers with evening food and drinks also available. The park will also have a running track - ideal for organised sports and fitness classes for visitors to enjoy.
Located on Great Hampton Row, the park will be easily accessible from the city centre with great transport links. Just a two-minute walk from St. Paul’s tram station, a seven-minute walk from Snow Hill Station and 15 minutes from New Street Station, the park will host visitors from across the city and beyond.
What else is Cordelia Blackswan doing in Birmingham - and is there an opportunity for me or my business to get involved with the King King Park?
With nine developments located along Great Hampton Street, Cordia Blackswan has told how it has a masterplan to transform the key gateway route into the city, which has suffered significant underinvestment in recent years. Their developments offer a mix of uses, including build-to-rent and Birmingham’s first shared living scheme.
The company has submitted plans for the Chung Ying Plaza scheme, which features a 50-storey apartment building on the former Chung Ying Garden restaurant site in the Southside district.
Marcus Hawley, Managing Director at Cordia Blackswan, said: “Birmingham holds a very special place for us as a developer, and we are committed to supporting the city in realising its ambitions to be a world-class destination. The Commonwealth Games presents the perfect opportunity to bring King Kong home, with Birmingham on the global stage.
“For those of us that remember the original Kong, it’s time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first visit to the city. While it’s an honour to bring a piece of Birmingham’s history back to life, we hope people will ‘go ape’ over the park we’re creating, bringing the community spirit back to Great Hampton Row.”
With a number of leading brands already on board and an anticipated footfall in excess of 52,000, businesses interested in being involved with the Park and putting their brand on a global stage can contact [email protected] to find out about sponsorship opportunities.
When is the King Kong Park opening and how can I keep up to date?
King Kong Park will open on 22 July, with entertainment running until 8August from 12pm-11pm each day. The park is free to attend for all.
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