Digbeth's creative quarter has secured a trio of business announcements: the area will be home to the new BBC Midlands headquarters from 2026, as well as the Digbeth Estate seeing a new apprenticeship centre, The&Academy, and cocktail bar Passing Fancies open. 

As part of their increased investment in the city, the BBC have revealed their plans to expand and relocate its main Midlands base to the city's creative quarter. From 2026, the new BBC Midlands headquarters will be based at the refurbished Typhoo Factory, adjacent to Loc Studios, the brand new home of Masterchef.

James Craig, Founder of Oval Real Estate says "Oval are delighted that the BBC has chosen Digbeth as their new home in the Midlands. We have long championed the creative sector and we are continuing to deliver best in class space across the Digbeth Estate for businesses big and small. It is especially great news as we are currently investing in The Bond as a production hub. The Creative Content Hub at the Bond will launch in Autumn 2022 and we are already in discussion with a number of independent TV production companies, content creators and gaming companies. The BBC's arrival in Digbeth will further drive the regeneration of the area in advance of the arrival of HS2. It is a good day for Birmingham!

An award-winning local bartender is part of a trio due to open a brand new cocktail bar in Birmingham's Custard Factory, located in the Digbeth Estate.

Inspired by the idea of ‘creativity out of love’, Passing Fancies aims to bring a new kind of approachable luxury. The bar’s name nods to their vow to move with the times, regularly changing their menu and straying away from a set theme.

The trio have a varied background in hospitality and are committed to building a team of people who could one day become the ‘next big thing’ in bartending. Their passion for the industry has made them feel that they, like the man their building is named after, can create something long-lasting out of love.

Passing Fancies is due to open in September 2022.

Tommy Matthews, one third of the team heading up Passing Fancies, said, “At our core is our passion for what we do, the stories we share and the people we share them with. Passing Fancies is an extension of us, a place where everyone can gather to experience the comforting excellence of high-end beverages and build fond memories. Think of it not as a bar but a vehicle for community, nestled within the creative heart of Birmingham with a menu as varied and fluid as the lives we lead. We want to ensure that our staff feel as valued as our customers. It’s important to us to give back to the industry that has given so much to us.

The&Partnership has announced that the Digbeth Estate will be the home of their latest venture, The&Academy.

The new training academy will be launched with mSix&Partners, as a joint venture media network between The&Partnership and GroupM. The&Academy will also be delivered by Multiverse, a provider of apprenticeship programmes, with a view to establishing the first ever Centre of Excellence for media and creative specialties in Birmingham’s creative quarter. With its base in Birmingham’s iconic Custard Factory, The&Academy will provide full-time training and work experience to the next generation of talent within media, technology and the creative industries.

It will offer accessible earn-while-you-learn training and work experience within the advertising industry for underrepresented groups. Throughout its year-long course, the curriculum will include the fundamental standards within the creative industries and will incorporate training from some of the biggest names in media and technology by partnering with Google, Meta and TikTok.

James Craig, Founding Partner of Oval Real Estate, said, “We are so pleased to announce that The&Partnership have chosen The Digbeth Estate as the location for their first venture with The&Academy. Digbeth is fast becoming a hub for creative business and this latest addition to the education sector in the area is a great win. We can’t wait to see the results of The&Academy and watch the long lasting, positive impact on both the area and the industry.

Recruitment for The&Academy is currently underway, with applications open to 16 – 24-year-olds in Birmingham and the surrounding area.

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