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GO Bullring in Birmingham

bullring shopping centre in birmingham

Once upon a time the Birmingham Bullring [map] was mocked by tourists and locals alike but a huge redevelopment (at a cost of more than £500m) has turned this area into a “must see” for visitors.

This huge space is the size of more than 26 football pitches and home to a plethora of cafes, shopping streets, and Mediterranean-style squares.

The whole place is bright and funky and offers visitors the kind of shopping experience that used to be reserved for American malls. You’ll find everything you could possibly want here including top designer names from the likes of Billabong, Molton Brown, Miss Sixty, Mikey, The Bear Factory, H & M, Gap and Zara. You’ll also find large department stores such as Debenhams and Selfridges and a flagship Borders bookshop.

The story of The Bullring began in 1166 when Birmingham was awarded a charter giving it the right to have its own market. By the 1950s the old Bullring site was established as a popular place to shop and tourists flocked to places like Chapmans and the original flagship Woolworths store.

In the 1960s the market site became one of the country’s most celebrated examples of revolutionary urban planning with the dramatic development of the old Bullring, at the time one of the world’s largest enclosed shopping centres outside America, and at the forefront of shopping centre design. The three symbols of the era were the circular Rotunda building, the swathe of ring roads encircling the old market centre site, and at its heart the Bullring Shopping Centre, which opened in May 1964.

By the 1980s, the old Bullring shopping centre was tired and jaded, and the city had only one department store. The redevelopment of the 40-acre Bullring site by The Birmingham Alliance is another milestone in the city’s history of innovation.

The scheme has been cited as the catalyst for Birmingham’s transformation into a world-class retail capital. Drawing on Birmingham’s historic street patterns, Bullring is composed of a series of traditional streets, squares and open spaces, which once again link New Street and High Street to St Martin’s Church, the open markets, Digbeth and beyond. Bullring provides a gateway to the east side of the city where plans are in place to regenerate the area and create a public park and learning quarter.

As part of the Bullring development existing landmarks such as the Rotunda, the old Moor Street Station, and St Martins Church have been cleaned and restored, and long lost historic Birmingham street names, going back as far as the 18th century, have been reintroduced.

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