"Move over, Brixton — these are the coolest neighbourhoods in Britain. Get in before they lose their edge" so says The Sunday Times. And top of the list? Our beloved Digbeth, home to TINKER TAYLOR HQ.
I have been working in Digbeth on and off for 20 years. One of my first jobs in TV production was for the then fledgling Indie Maverick. We were based at the recently converted Custard Factory, former home to Alfred Bird and Sons.
His story is fascinating; a qualified chemist and druggist who ingeniously invented instant egg-free Custard powder to cater to his wife Elizabeth’s allergy to eggs and yeast. When he accidentally fed it to guests (who loved it!), he realised the commercial potential of his delicious and convenient concoction and established Alfred Bird and Sons. The Birds Custard Factory employed thousands of people in it's heyday, supplying the British Armed Forces during World War 1.
Working in a building with such heritage is special. The conversion from derelict factory to Creative hub (Bird moved his factory to Banbury in 1964) has taken some time, but the journey has been as exciting and interesting as the end result.
There is now a whole Creative Quarter, multiple Industrial buildings and converted warehouses with brilliant and innovative purpose. It is the perfect location for people who want to do work that they love in a place that inspires them. TINKER TAYLOR are based at the beautiful Fazeley Studios. Our reception is a beautifully renovated 19th century Unitarian Chapel and our studio a converted 1920's factory.
From the crazy, 80's themed indoor Ghetto Golf, to the mouthwateringly delicious Digbeth Dining Club; from tiny Northern Soul venue the Night Owl, to Birmingham's oldest pub, the Old Crown - and all the fabulous street art, canals and beautiful railway arches in-between, the Creative team at TT thrive on the vibe of Digbeth.
Here's hoping Channel 4 love the vibe too and chose Birmingham as its new home.
1 Birmingham: Digbeth The digital revolution has been largely responsible for getting Digbeth’s post-industrial heart pumping again, with creative types setting up in the former manufacturing buildings. In a further nod to its history, Digbeth’s first residential square is under construction on the site of a curtain-track plant. At the converted (Bird’s) Custard Factory, cafes, shops, a cinema and arts venues have sprung up, so there are more reasons to hang out after hours — and not just for the crispy chicken wings sold by the kilo at the Old Crown, officially the best bar snacks in the postcode