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Welcome to Birmingham! How local people and artists transformed Digbeth Coach Station into an award-winning gateway


The Digbeth Public Art Project (DPAP) was a two year project produced by National Express and implemented by EC-Arts. As part of the redevelopment of Birmingham Coach Station, Digbeth EC-Arts was required to manage the implementation of three permanent artworks, ‘Boundary’, ‘Irish Quarter Visual Artwork’ and ‘Short Film’, that would both enhance visitor experiences of the coach station and reflect the rich cultural history of the site. Both National Express and EC-Arts understood that public art is inherently connected to the geographical and social context that it is in – it should be site-specific, not irrelevant ‘off the shelf’ artwork that has no human context.   

Watch this video of the project by Matthew Beckett

The project was shaped by a ‘public art process’ whereby artists worked closely with the local community to produce art works that both symbolise and reflect the culture and history of the area. Throughout this process the input from local people was key. The development of each art installation has been guided by the public through community workshops that aim to encourage service users to contribute their time, skills and ideas to design, deliver and improve services. As a result of this unique partnership between public and private sectors EC-Arts was awarded the Jaguar Land Rover Arts and Business Award 2009 for specific community engagement, and contribution to regeneration and sustainable growth.

About this case study
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Claire Farrell
Project Manager


Claire Farrell provided Governance International with this case study on 18th May 2010.

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