Reprieve for Birmingham's historic Gun Quarter

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26 July 2012
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imports_MIL_gun-proof-house-banbury-st-birmingham_96521.jpg Reprieve for Birmingham's historic Gun Quarter
An information panel on Birmingham’s gun quarter has been unveiled by Birmingham City Council near the Gunmakers Arms on Little Shadwell Street. ...

An information panel on Birmingham’s gun quarter has been unveiled by Birmingham City Council near the Gunmakers Arms on Little Shadwell Street.

This marks another important step towards statutory recognition of the Gun Quarter, which has formed part of Birmingham’s proud and historic heritage stretching over 250 years, and is still a major part of the British gun trade attracting business worldwide.

The next objective is to gain statutory recognition of the gun quarter by Birmingham City Council. Tony Treadwell, who lead the campaign to Save The Birmingham Gun Quarter, passed away on Easter Saturday at the young age of 45.

The petition website he set up was supported by almost 5,000 people worldwide and lead to constructive dialogue with Birmingham City Council on improving recognition for the heritage of the gun quarter.The campaign Tony started will be continued by representatives of the Birmingham gun trade with the support of BASC.

The gun quarter has now been recognised in a revised version of the Big City Plan and Birmingham City Council have given representatives of the local gun trade and BASC assurances that the gun quarter will also be recognised in the Core Strategy (the Statutory Plan for the City). Assurances have also been given that the ‘Gun Quarter’ Controlled Parking Zone will continue to exist. The BASC has vowed to work closely with Birmingham City Council to ensure that these assurances are fulfilled.

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Last year Birmingham City Council ran a consultation on its Big City Plan, an ambitious vision for the future transformation of the city. In the plan the city is mapped into six quarters around a city core. Each quarter is named to reflect its ‘unique qualities’.

One of the quarters was named ‘Gunsmith Quarter’ given the historic and current links to part of that area, known as Birmingham’s ‘Gun Quarter’. During the consultation the Council received representations from approximately 50 local residents who objected to the use of the name ‘gun’ in the name. As a result, at a Cabinet meeting of the Council, on 25 July 2011, a decision was taken to change the name of the quarter to ‘St George and St Chad’. Then a campaign to save the name of the gun quarter was started by Tony Treadwell together with Lynn Dingley and Gary Clark.

The area is to the north of the city centre, bounded by Steelhouse Lane, Shadwell Street and Loveday Street. In the 1960s, part of the Gun Quarter was demolished, and the area was split in two by the construction of the Birmingham Inner Ring Road.