Leisure operator to make Digbeth debut with £5m venue

Street food, drinks and entertainment provider BOXPARK has announced it will open a £5m Birmingham venue in 2025, creating 200 jobs.

Set to be located at Floodgate Street Arches in Digbeth, it will be the group’s second BOXPARK-branded development outside of London and is expected to generate more than a million visitors each year.

BOXPARK has agreed to a 15-year lease with landlords The Arch Company for the site, which will see the space under four 12m railway arches transformed into a food hall and events destination. It forms part of The Arch Company’s Project 1000 plans, “to bring a thousand empty or derelict spaces across England and Wales back into use by 2030” said leasing director Nick Cridlan.

Spanning nearly 17,000 sq ft, the proposed plans for the site feature a large, covered structure with around 10 kitchen units and four internal bars set across two floors. Proposals for the scheme also include an external space for seating with two bar units.

The group says it will work closely with Birmingham City Council to promote local supply chain routes and recruitment.

LDC backed the business in 2021 to support national expansion plans to launch new sites in London and in major regional cities. In addition to its existing three London locations, BOXPARK is launching its first development outside of the capital in Liverpool in Spring 2024.

BOXPARK CEO Simon Champion said: “Our team has searched extensively for sites in Birmingham since 2016, and having considered multiple locations across the city we believe Digbeth is perfect for this scheme.

“The area’s eclectic mix of creative businesses is the perfect match for our ethos of supporting and championing local creatives from food to art, music and beyond. As a dynamic and fast-growing business, we hope BOXPARK will be an exciting addition to Birmingham”.

Paul Thandi CBE, Non-Executive Chairman of BOXPARK said: “Since my recent appointment as Chairman at BOXPARK, I’ve witnessed first-hand the passion, commitment, and creativity from the team to deliver operational excellence and introduce new, innovative concepts to drive footfall to its locations.

“My experience in regeneration and transformation with the NEC Group, as well as my connection with the City leads to me to have a strong belief that BOXPARK Birmingham will no doubt drive footfall, customer choice, experience and of course, unique entertainment into and around our fantastic site in Digbeth. I think the iconic brand of BOXPARK will be a great addition to the Birmingham offer which is a big driver for me and the business.”

Last month, BOXPARK announced the appointment of Paul Thandi CBE, former CEO of the NEC Group, Birmingham as the new Non-Executive Chairman of the Group. Thandi is set to focus on the Group’s expansion as it accelerates its national growth strategy, as well as supporting the senior management team to explore potential new offerings and concepts.