Jewellery Quarter station greens up

Eco-garden to be installed following community grant.

A major scheme to install an eco-garden at one of Birmingham’s busiest inner-city stations has been given the go-ahead thanks to a community grant from West Midlands Railway.

Jewellery Quarter station, which welcomed over half a million passengers last year, will have a green makeover thanks to community volunteers working with the area’s Business Improvement District.

The £66,000 scheme, titled Greening a Grey Station, will see ‘living walls’ of plants and shrubs installed at the station to enhance the environment for passengers and residents. The walls have been designed by lead station adopter and local garden designer Gaynor Steele.

The project will also involve training opportunities for community members who want to develop their own urban gardening projects.

Fay Easton, head of community and stakeholder for WMR, said: “We are delighted to be working with a talented urban gardener, local volunteers and the Jewellery Quarter BID on this fantastic project to makeover one of our stations which is so important to the businesses and community it serves.

“Throughout the pandemic our focus has been on keeping our services running for our customers who need them but we are also looking to the future and have been working with communities to make sure the railway is an inviting and welcoming place for our passengers.

“This innovative community project is central to our ethos at West Midlands Railway in working with local people to ensure the railways are at the heart of our neighbourhoods.”

This project was selected by WMR as part of its inaugural Customer and Communities Improvement Fund, with funding provided by the Department for Transport.

As part of CCIF, WMR and sister company London Northwestern Railway will invest a total of £1.7million in dozens of community projects across the network in coming months.

The Jewellery Quarter scheme is designed to show how an urban railway station can tackle pollution with careful planting schemes, wildflowers and vertical systems to improve biodiversity and improve local air quality.

The project includes edible planting, rainwater collection, art panels and the creation of green areas to soften the landscape and provide spaces for passengers to relax and learn about the Jewellery Quarter.

Steve Lovell, from the Jewellery Quarter BID, said: “This project is central to our plans in improving the aesthetic of the Jewellery Quarter and increasing the amount of green spaces.

“By turning the station into an eco-garden, we’re not only helping to improve the environment, we’re also creating an inviting entry point into the Jewellery Quarter that will increase footfall for our independent businesses. We can’t wait to get started.”