Birmingham’s new Art Quarter

Meet the man whose vision is to build an iconic cultural venue in Birmingham

Digbeth. The hub of independent Birmingham venues like Digbeth Dining Club, the Custard Factory and the city’s oldest pub, the Old Crown. Well, work is underway for space like no other. We’ve been speaking to Jordan Patel: the man behind the exciting new space that’s already got Brum buzzing. The Art Quarter. By Michael Delaney.

Jordan is man familiar with Birmingham’s cultural scene.

From the very beginnings of the famous Rainbow Warehouse venue, Jordan has helped to promote some of the biggest nights to have vibrated through the city streets.

However, after falling in with the wrong crowd and a gamble to run his own venue failed to pay off, Jordan fell on hard times.

“I spent 4 to 5 years in a very dark place.”

“I lost everything when the business went under, after to getting involved with the wrong sort of people. I’m too nice a guy to be in that scene. But it left me homeless for nearly 2 years, and the whole experience had a lasting effect on me.”

“Having been in such a bad place, I started to ask myself ‘what feeds my soul’. And I realised I wanted to be the kind of person that nurtured others, that could change the world.”

“I look back on that time now as a formative period in my life – it’s made me who I am today.”

After years of struggling with depression and anxiety, Jordan started on a new path. He had a vision of a space that gave back to the community and was truly representative of the diverse city he lived in.

After a year of working in sales, Jordan had cleared his debts when he received a call from a landlord that he’d previously been to viewings with offering up a space.

With the backing from a friend, Jordan was able to put a deposit down on the premises and started work on his vision.

But with that, he was able to gain sponsorship from companies like L’Oreal and he started to design his space.

Here’s a sneak preview of how it’s going to look…

With the structural part completed, Jordan is now embarking on the fit out process once lockdown rules allow.

The venue looks set to become a huge attraction for the area, with HS2’s terminal a stone’s throw away.

Jordan and his team have been inundated with enquiries from businesses looking to find let a space.

“It’s going to be a place where everyone feels welcome.”

Jordan is targeting the end of summer to have everything ready.

There are plans in place to open with the Wall of Trainers, which has already exploded on social media.

“I feel like I’ve made mistakes – everyone is entitled to that. But this feels more like a movement than a venue. I think for what I’ve been through, this is what it’s been building up to.” You can follow Art Quarter’s journey on their Instagram.