Sparkbrook Christ Church
Sparkbrook was home to several well-loved but disparate facilities, including Sparkbrook Family Centre, Farm Road Health Centre and on land opposite, the remains of a Victorian Christ Church. With BaS LIFT already in talks with Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust (HoBtPCT) and Birmingham City Council about delivering new healthcare facilities in the area, BaS LIFT welcomed the church into the scheme, using its development expertise to mix funding streams and facilitate a complex land swap, allowing a complete site reconfiguration.
The resulting two-storey church building combines contemporary design with a distinct ecclesiastical feel. Offering more than just a space to worship, the building serves the local and wider community. With a community café at its heart and a flexible multi-use space, the design welcomes new visitors and also offers local residents the opportunity to hire the facility.
Innovative land swapBaS LIFT took a holistic approach to the Sparkbrook development, recognising the opportunity for an innovative land swap that would see the Diocese of Birmingham able to benefit from a new facility as part of the wider scheme. Working with its private sector partner, Prime, BaS LIFT approached the Diocese of Birmingham and asked them to ‘swap’ their land for part of an adjacent plot owned by both the NHS and Birmingham City Council. This unusual step unlocked a large area of Sparkbrook for regeneration and allowed the new church to be built opposite the new community and health centre.