About Balsall Heath

Balsall Heath was a white working class neighbourhood close to the centre of Birmingham. Its residents lived in back to back terraced houses. But it was a cohesive and strong community.

Then the planners got to work, knocked 30% of the houses down, built some high rise blocks and broke up the old community. Many residents moved to outer ring council estates, leaving space for newcomers from the West Indies, Africa and the Indian sub-continent. The newcomers were isolated and lonely. Crime and prostitution spread until by 1980 over 450 prostitutes and 30 pimps dominated the street corners.

Balsall Heath’s name became associated with blight, decay & depression. Anyone with ambition left. The area hit rock bottom.

It has taken 25 years to re-build a new community in place of the old one. Today, there are 20% white people, 20% black, 60% Asian. But, they know and support each other, & have faced down and got rid of street corner prostitution. House prices are rising. People want to stay. The area is green, clean and desirable.

The modern story of Balsall Heath tells the tale of recovery, of moving from blight to brightness. This web-site tells that story, and describes the transformation of Balsall Heath. It explains how others can do likewise.