Demolition of former Irish Centre to make way for 48-storey residential tower

Work has begun at the former Irish Centre in Deritend, to make way for a landmark tower providing 454 one and two-bedroom apartments.

It’s the third major site to be delivered by Court Collaboration and funded by Gallagher Developments, with other schemes including 667 units underway at One Eastside and 995 units consented prior to disposal at the Stone Yard development.

Initial works are underway to prepare for the demolition of the building, which once complete, will feature a rooftop terrace on the 48th floor, as well as residential amenity space including a gym and lounge.

Local stakeholders joined the developer along with the demolition contractor, McAuliffe Group, to bury a time capsule at the site, with a range of items linked to the history and heritage of the building and the Irish community in Birmingham added by those in attendance.

Sir Tony Gallagher said: “Digbeth, and Birmingham as a whole, is now evolving in spectacular fashion. The investment and ambition of all those passionate about this city is shining through, and it’s incredibly exciting to see work starting at the former Irish Centre.

“It of course holds an extra special place in our hearts, filled with history and heritage, and we’ll honour that with the quality and care put into the scheme, creating places for the next generation to thrive.”

Also joining the team to mark the occasion was Maurice Malone, CEO of the Birmingham Irish Association. The new Irish Centre is in King’s Heath but Digbeth retains a strong Irish heritage, a community dating back to the industrial revolution.

Malone said: “It’s onwards and upwards, and there are plenty of developments that are hopefully going to bring people in to the city and in to Digbeth, and make it an attraction for the city.”

Alex Neale, managing director at Court Collaboration added: “I want to thank everybody that has been involved in the planning and realisation of this project to date. There’s been a lot of hard work so we’re all thrilled to mark this milestone – and can’t wait to see the development take shape in the coming month and years.

“In 50 years, a future generation will unearth this capsule and enjoy the items we’ve all added, many of which are close to the hearts of our Irish friends here today. Huge thanks go to Sir Tony Gallagher, whose support has been crucial throughout. The city council for its vision and backing ambitious developers like us and to Maurice, and all our friends in the community, that adore this city as we do.”

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