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22 Nov 4:15am

Has Britain’s second largest city reached breaking point?

The Guardian
Covid-19 has dealt a heavy blow to Birmingham’s glitzy city centre led by retail – and it’s revealing other deep fault lines When Andy Street wants to show off the best of Birmingham to visitors up from London, the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands starts his tour in Centenary Square, a public space the length of two football pitches. To the west stands the International Convention Centre (ICC) and the Symphony Hall; to the north, the Birmingham Rep theatre and the new Library of Birmingham; HSBC’s new UK headquarters lies to the south, while to the east – where Street marches off – is a £700m development optimistically named Paradise. The square and its surroundings, Street claims, is “a statement that this place has refound its self-confidence”. Perhaps it is. But the buildings that surround the square tell another story of a modern city. The ICC was
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