Review of 2017 - Big Changes, Big Events, Big Innovation! - Custard Factory

Review of 2017 – Big Changes, Big Events, Big Innovation!

Posted by Chris Pettitt on December 24, 2017

It has been a hugely transformative year for us in 2017, with a change of ownership, massive investment into the area and the launch of some exciting new cultural hotspots in Digbeth! And it’s only going to get BIGGER and BETTER in 2018. Before we get there though, let’s take a quick look back at some of the most memorable moments from the past year.

#DigitalDigbeth Day – June

Birmingham’s ever-burgeoning tech sector was at the centre of the UK’s attention back in June when Fazeley Studios (in conjunction with the BBC Academy) hosted #DigitalDigbeth Day – a jam-packed spectacle of innovation, creativity and pioneering tech. Featuring many of our fantastic tenants (Yamination Studios, Backface, The Space) as well as others including the BBC and Google, the day was an incredible demonstration of the cutting-edge talent on our doorstep!

Read more about #DigitalDigbeth Day on the Birmingham Post HERE

Summer Jam – August

It was the height of summer. The sun was shining, Birmingham was awash with the happy faces of children on a bear hunt and on Saturday 12th August, the Custard Factory soundtracked the sun-drenched atmosphere with a day of melodic magic – the Summer Jam!

The free festival of sound featured a host of delights: live music from fresh and exciting alumni of BIMM, a vinyl record fair full to the brim with rare and classic albums, and even a sing-a-long screening of the Disney classic Frozen. The fun didn’t end there either; there were also circus skills workshops on offer plus the finest street food – all the ingredients for a perfect summer’s day!

#Digmas – November

Our annual jamboree of festive cheer and wintery fun was bigger than ever this November. Highly creative and crafty gifts were on offer at the fab Paperdolls Christmas Market; live storytelling, face painting and fairground rides meant the little ones were happy, and for the adults, a delectable selection of street food meant there were no empty stomachs. We even arranged for Santa himself to come along to meet all the boys and girls!

As ever, it was a fabulously joyful day that got us all into the festive spirit. Thank you to everybody who came along and made it such a special day – Merry Digmas!

So much more has happened this year that we can’t fit it all in, but here’s a few of the other highlights from an amazing twelve months in Digbeth…

– The Custard Factory acquired new owners, Oval Real Estate, who have massively exciting plans for the future. The first stage of those plans include some TLC for the site.

– Black Sabbath legend Tony Iommi was in town to officially open the incredible £4 million BIMM Birmingham college.

– Food & drink took centre stage at various points over the year as the Custard Factory hosted a menagerie of artisan festivals, including dedicated Cheese, Gin, Coffee and Beer festivals!

– Hole-in-one! The craziest of crazy golf courses launched at the Custard Factory in November when Ghetto Golf opened its doors. The insanely fun, creative and addictive attraction has proved immensely popular and things are going to get even bigger in 2018!

– The West Midlands’ first ever mayor was elected and Andy Street has certainly been busy since. He actually launched his mayoral bid back in March in the stunning surroundings of Fazeley Studios.

– Birmingham went bear-crazy over the summer with The Big Sleuth. The city-wide Bear Hunt raised millions for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital and we were more than proud to play our part by being the home of ‘Sonny’ the bear throughout the event.

– The Mockingbird Cinema had its biggest year ever, and one the many highlights was a weekend of incredible outdoor cinema screenings in August!

– There was a day of enterprise and advice when the Virgin Business VOOM Tour pulled into Digbeth – one lucky winner even won brunch with Sir Richard Branson!

– Leading figures from the digital and business sectors descended on Digbeth in November for the Urban Tech Summit. Speakers included Minister Sajid Javid and Andy Street.

So 2017 really was a phenomenal year for our community, but we’re confident that 2018 has even more in store! Here at the Custard Factory we have an exceedingly exciting programme of investment and work planned that is going to transform the estate. There’s also some thrilling shops and businesses readying themselves for a new Digbeth home. There really never has been a better time to be in our creative corner of Birmingham! Here’s to a prosperous year ahead!

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