The (he)art of the Moseley Road story

In March 2012 I noted the hope that a stretch of a mile from Bradford Street to the Alcester Road junction of the Moseley Road could be regenerated, helping protect 26 listed buildings along its route.  While the fate of the Moseley Road Baths,, looms across the road there is hope that The Moseley School of Art building is safe.

The building was saved from becoming derelict by the Moseley Muslim Community Association who have repaired flood damage and replaced the roof but struggled to raise the funds to do the restoration work required to save the beautiful building and open it up for use again.  In 2010 it was named as one of the most threatened buildings in England and Wales,

Pointing out the dilapidated state of the council’s Grade II listed Moseley Road Baths opposite, he added: “We’re not saying [the exterior] is not important but we don’t have that sort of funding. If heritage organisations are making so much noise why don’t they help us?”

The building was designed by W.H.Bidlake, a renown Birmingham Arts & Crafts architect, who built The Hurst on Amesbury Road, Moseley and St Agatha's Church in Sparkbrook and was designed in a 'Wrenaissance' style,   It opened in 1901 as the first purpose-built art school in the country having been created as a branch of the Birmingham School of Art and it's noted alumni include Peter Philips, one of the founders of the Pop Art scene in the 1960s, Christine McView of Fleetwood Mac, Roy Wood of Wizzard and the Electric Light Orchestra and members of UB40,  The school closed in 1976.

Its creation was the result of pressure brought to bear by Birmingham’s 19th. Century industrialists who, whilst having massive production capability, realised that home industries were disadvantaged as industries on the continent had far more skilled designers. The main purpose of the school was to train young people in art, design and artisan skills. Admission to the school was by selective examination, and an enormous number of gifted children were provided with specialist training which would enable them to enter the employment market as artists and designers, or go on to study art and design at a higher level.

In June 2015 it was announced that the green light had been given to prepare a £1.5m bid for funding to transform the building into a vibrant centre enjoyed and valued by the whole community,

Heritage Grants applications are assessed in two rounds. A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also, as in this case, include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.

The plans to develop the Heritage Lottery Fund bid will be open for consultation today at the former Moseley School of Art  from 12 to 7pm.

The plans include providing flexible space for hire including improved kitchen facilities, permanent office space and permanent exhibition space.

You can also share your views by completing an online survey, which is available until the end of May 2016


Mr Splosh said…
Hi Simon,
Do you know if the plans will be available to view again? I have tried to find details online but there does not seem to be very much yet. The front entrance of the building is often closed and locked when I go past, and there is no notice that I can see.

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