Christmas lights come early to Hurst Street

Early switch on will improve safety and brighten the area.

Hurst Street, in the heart of Southside District, is set to be illuminated ahead of the festive season this year, in a bid to brighten up the area and boost safety.

The lights, which are normally installed in November, will be switched on two months early thanks to sponsorship from Rainier Developments, a privately-owned property developer. The increased lighting is one of a number of additional safety measures supported by Southside District following the serious knife attacks in Birmingham.

Southside BID manager, Julia Robinson, said: “Our community was incredibly shocked and saddened to witness the tragic events of the 6th September in our inclusive and welcoming District. This random attack has highlighted the importance of increased safety measures across the city to ensure that our residents, businesses and visitors are protected.

“We have doubled our warden patrols over the coming weekends and we are incredibly grateful to the support from Rainier Developments which will enable us to install our lights early this year and brighten up the District. We will continue to highlight the importance of an increased Police presence, warden patrols, street lighting and CCTV to keep our District safe.”

Richard Mees, Managing Director of Rainier Developments, said: “As a business, we already feel part of the community in Southside, having worked with partners across the district as part of our proposals for Priory House on Kent Street.

“We were saddened to follow the senseless events of early September. However, it has been even more heartening to see residents, businesses, and local leaders step up to support the community.

“It is important that we work together to restore confidence in Southside, and across the city, which is why we are supporting the BID in all their efforts to make sure everyone feels welcome and safe in the district.”

Hurst Street has been home to Southside StrEATery throughout August and September, thanks to the temporary pedestrianisation of the road over six consecutive weekends to create an al fresco space for socially distanced eating and drinking. The StrEATery has resulted in an increase in income of up to 50% for local bars and restaurants, with calls from residents, businesses and visitors for the pedestrianisation to become permanent.

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