The Bullring has become the main shopping centre of Birmingham since it opened in 2003 with over 160 retail outlets. But this area is more than just shops – it also has a long history and lots of interesting stories to tell.
The site of the Bullring has always been an area for trading. In 1166 it was given a licence to have a market. In the 1950s the site was thriving as a shopping area and then in the 1960s the old Bullring enclosed shopping centre building on the site was revamped.
The latest redevelopment of the area began in 1999 and has resulted in new department stores, cafes and restaurants, 3,000 new parking spaces, new open spaces, walkways and an indoor market. The Bullring Alliance, which was set up to carry out the project, reports that over 8,000 jobs were created in Bullring and over half a million pounds a day was spent building it. It claims 15,500 tonnes of steel have been used in the shopping centre, which is a quarter of the amount of steel used in the Empire State Building. Another staggering fact from the alliance is that the amount of concrete used in the Bullring could stretch from Birmingham to Oban in Scotland ten times.
Landmark buildings such as the Rotunda, the Old Moor Street Station and St Martins Church were restored as part of the Bullring project and street names from Birmingham’s history were brought back to life and reused.