Canal Square Market: a sneak peek at the new artisan market coming to Birmingham city centre

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The new community-focused market in Birmingham city centre is bringing people together after the pandemic and it’s launching on Friday June 10

From freshly baked bread, wine, hand crafted jewellery and flowers to live music and family fun - the Canal Square Market is shaping up to be one of the best community events in Birmingham city centre.

The market is launching at Canal Square, next to Brindleyplace, on Friday June 10.

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Local traders that will be occupying the 20+ stalls include Pip’s Hot Sauce, Rourke’s Pies and Odi + Moo.

Nearby businesses are involved too, including the popular brunch spot Juju’s Café.

Other traders include Joyem Home Fragrance, Cielo Pottery and Funny Brummies Pictures.

The market is the brainchild of Convention Quarter Residents Alliance (CQRA) with a mission to bring the local community together and offer a shared space to enjoy good times and make happy memories after a tough few years.

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They managed to get a Commonwealth Games Community Grant to help make their wishes into reality.

There are dates planned throughout July and September, with a Commonwealth Games theme planned to boost community involvement with the Birmingham 2022 events due to start on July 28 - with nearby Utilita Arena hosting many championships.

Canal Square Market is coming to Brindleyplace in Birmingham city centreCanal Square Market is coming to Brindleyplace in Birmingham city centre
Canal Square Market is coming to Brindleyplace in Birmingham city centre | Lara McEwan

What have the traders said about Canal Square Market?

Pip Bradley of Pip’s Hot Sauce says: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to trade in what is going to feel like, thanks to the Commonwealth Games, the centre of Brum over the summer.”

Gary Rourke from Rourke’s Pies says: “Like many others coming, we are a lockdown business, having set up during the pandemic. It’s a great line up to be included in and wonderful to see so many local traders in one place for what’s set to be a great community event.”

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Susie Davis from Odi + Moo says: “We’re excited to be attending the first market. Our ice cream cart is all kitted out and we look forward to a sunny afternoon on the square.”

Owner of Ju Ju’s Café - that has called the square home for over 12 years – Julia Pallister says: “We’re thrilled to be a part of this great community initiative and we look forward to welcoming visitors to our beautiful square. After a rough couple of years it will be fabulous to see our local community come together both in June and coming months.”

Ju Ju’s cafe in Canal Square near Brindleyplace in Birmingham city centreJu Ju’s cafe in Canal Square near Brindleyplace in Birmingham city centre
Ju Ju’s cafe in Canal Square near Brindleyplace in Birmingham city centre | Laura McEwan

What have the Canal Square Market organisers said about the event in their own words?

Organiser Fran Elder says: “During the regular CQRA residents’ meetings the idea that having a community artisan food and craft market would help to re-vitalise and set Canal Square more at the heart of our growing community.

“We visited various markets in and around Birmingham and had discussions with other market organisers as to the possible costs. Fortuitously, the chance to apply to the Commonwealth Games Community Fund gave us the opportunity to realise these plans.

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“We submitted an application and were successful in obtaining £10,000. Our long-term hope is to hold 6 markets a year so that there is a regular coming together of the community. This is more significant now, as the pandemic has caused significant isolation for people working from home and older and vulnerable residents.

“As part of our bid for funds we joined up with the Ladywood Project charity and the local Unitarian church to promote and develop local artisan businesses within our community. Many embryonic craft and food businesses have started and been developed during lockdown.

“When we finally knew we had funds we were ready to go and now have sold out all the markets this year and hope to be able expand onto Morville Street next year if we gain permission.”

Canal Square Market features some of Birmingham’s best loved tradersCanal Square Market features some of Birmingham’s best loved traders
Canal Square Market features some of Birmingham’s best loved traders | Laura McEwan

Fellow organiser Alex Elder says: “Apart from giving residents some active local involvement in the CWG celebrations, it’s hoped there will be a significant legacy premium of using the square for regular street markets over future years.

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“The actual setting up of the market stalls is being handled professionally, but most of the associated work of planning, finding stall holders, publicising the events and marshalling on the day is being done by local volunteers from CQRA.

“We are grateful to our members as well as our local councillors, Kath Hartley and Sir Albert Bore, who have been great supporters of CQRA and our local projects over the years.”

Birmingham city centre canalsBirmingham city centre canals
Birmingham city centre canals | Tupungato -

What is The Convention Quarter Residents Alliance?

Fran explained: “The Convention Quarter Residents Alliance is an association that was started by locals that aims to bring the community together and improve the Convention Quarter for all who live and work there.

“The Convention Quarter is a residential hub with around 4000 people living within a five-minute walk from Canal Square, so we are hoping for a large turnout at each market. Our artisanal market is the first of many community events we plan to host and we welcome adults, children and furry friends to attend.”

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Canal Square Market will be found at Canal Square, Browning Street. The markets will run from 3:30pm-7:30pm on June 10th, July 29th, September 9th and December 2nd.

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