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August 7, 2023

HS2 Partners with Heart of Birmingham Vocational College and Local Creative Organisations to Inspire Young Designers

HS2 Partners with Heart of Birmingham Vocational College and Local Creative Organisations to Inspire Young Designers

In an exciting collaboration that blends education, creativity, and infrastructure development, HS2 Ltd has joined forces with Craftspace, Dual Works, and the Heart of Birmingham Vocational College (HBVC) to initiate the 'Washwood Heath Creates' program. This innovative initiative recently concluded its pilot stage, successfully engaging young learners in design concepts for the upcoming public space around the Washwood Heath Depot, HS2's national maintenance facility. In this article, we delve into this inspiring partnership, exploring how it is paving the way for artistic and vocational education to merge seamlessly with the development of the UK's high-speed rail network.

The Heart of Birmingham Vocational College (HBVC) and Its Role

At the heart of this collaborative endeavor is the Heart of Birmingham Vocational College, a renowned institution that prides itself on providing practical vocational training to students. Located in Washwood Heath, Birmingham, HBVC serves as the ideal setting for this ambitious project.

The 'Washwood Heath Creates' Program

The 'Washwood Heath Creates' program represents a groundbreaking approach to infusing art and design into large-scale infrastructure development. Spearheaded by HS2 Ltd, the program brings together the creative prowess of Craftspace, Dual Works, and the enthusiastic students of HBVC. Its primary goal is to encourage young learners to channel their creativity and innovation toward designing the public spaces around the forthcoming Washwood Heath Depot, which will be a crucial part of the HS2 national maintenance facility.

HS2's Commitment to Arts and Culture

HS2 Ltd's involvement in this initiative stems from its dedication to infuse arts and culture into the development of the high-speed railway. Beyond its primary function of enhancing transportation infrastructure, HS2 aspires to leave a lasting artistic legacy through the integration of creative practices. The 'Washwood Heath Creates' program is an embodiment of this vision.

Empowering Young Minds

One of the most inspiring aspects of this collaboration is the opportunity it provides for young learners. By engaging in creative workshops and design projects, students at HBVC gain valuable hands-on experience that goes beyond traditional classroom learning. This practical exposure empowers them to think innovatively, consider the needs of the community, and actively contribute to the development of their local environment.

Local Creativity and Expertise

Craftspace and Dual Works, both Birmingham-based creative organisations, play a pivotal role in guiding the students through the design process. Their expertise and local knowledge bring a unique perspective to the project, ensuring that the students' ideas align with the community's values and aspirations. This collaborative effort enriches the learning experience and fosters a sense of ownership among the students.

Impact on the Community

The 'Washwood Heath Creates' program not only benefits the participating students but also has a positive impact on the local community. By involving young minds in the design of public spaces, the program ensures that these spaces are not just functional but also aesthetically pleasing and community-oriented. This approach reflects a commitment to creating a vibrant and sustainable urban environment.

Looking Ahead

As the 'Washwood Heath Creates' program continues to evolve and expand, it sets an inspiring precedent for similar initiatives nationwide. It showcases the potential for educational institutions, creative organizations, and major infrastructure projects to collaborate and create a meaningful impact on both education and the community.

In Conclusion

The partnership between HS2 Ltd, Craftspace, Dual Works, and the Heart of Birmingham Vocational College exemplifies the power of merging education, creativity, and infrastructure development. It empowers young learners to become active contributors to their local community while enriching their educational experience.

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