Chinese in Birmingham heritage project launched

Record of the city’s Chinese community to be put on display.

The British Chinese Heritage Project | Chinese Lives in Birmingham exhibition was officially launched at the Cube (15th May) and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts (17th May) – a legacy project for the city of Birmingham.

A first of its type in the West Midlands, the project will culminate with a free, pop-up exhibition for the public at the Barber Institute, from 17 th May -8th June 2014.

The output includes a blog (, a booklet, a visual exhibition as well as audio recordings of the interviews – all of which will be archived in the Library of Birmingham for future generations to look back upon.

The 15 month project was created to capture the hidden histories of Birmingham’s Chinese community. The project was awarded a grant of £35,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is expected to be completed in June 2014. Anna Yim, CEO of Chinese Community Centre Birmingham said; “We are delighted to be able to create this historical project – the first in the West Midlands – that looks at the lives of individual migrants and British Chinese, as well as the development of the Chinese community in Birmingham – an integral part of the city’s history over the last six decades.

“It is not only important to capture all these ‘snapshots’ in time before it’s too late, but to record everything in English – as younger generations of British Chinese may find it difficult to speak, read or write Chinese themselves. The project has recorded the development of the Chinese community in Birmingham through different life stories. We hope that this is the first of many stages, pending funding, to take the project on further and help allow the Chinese community here to have a voice and be proud of their heritage. ”

Coincidentally Ken Shuttleworth, the Birmingham-born Cube architect has also been involved with Hong Kong’s award-winning Chek Lap Kok airport – where many of the net migrators travelled through from the former British colony, en route to their new life here in the UK.

As part of the project, CCC-B are calling out to members of the public to submit their photos and videos of their Birmingham ‘Chinatown memories’ and help piece together six decades of the community’s history in the city. The best of these will be archived with the project in the Library of Birmingham and used within the project.

Please make submissions to:  [email protected]  or via post to:  ‘Chinatown Memories’ / BCHP, Chinese Community Centre, Q-Lorc Resource Centre, 99 Bradford Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B12 0NS. Please note submissions cannot be returned and implies consent to use as part of the “British Chinese Heritage Project”.

For more information, please visit: or view the video