Diagonal Lock @ Camp Hill - A proposal for regenerating Camp Hill locks, Birmingham

The canal infrastructure in Central Birmingham has benefited from successful regeneration projects such as Gas Street Basin and The Mailbox. However, further investment is needed to maximise accessibility into Central Birmingham in order to ensure the long-term future of these developments.

The Camp Hill locks on the Grand Union Canal are one of the main arteries into Birmingham from the south, and should be viewed as a key gateway to Birmingham's waterways. Camp Hill is in urgent need of investment and the Diagonal Lock Advisory Group believe that the Diagonal Lock can provide a focal point for Camp Hill's regeneration...

The Mailbox, Birmingham

Terry Fogarty has developed an ambitious proposal for Camp Hill locks which has the potential to boost investment into the local area and provide a sustainable model for leisure and tourism.

The plan involves removing the existing narrow locks and replacing them with a Diagonal Lock. The existing stretch of canal at Camp Hill would be levelled out and widened to accomodate higher traffic volumes. The Diagonal Lock would be integrated into an underground complex that includes shops, bars, restuarants and a Canal Museum. The redeveloped stretch of the canal would run through the centre of this complex offering a visually fascinating point of interest for shoppers and diners, and a unique experience for boaters travelling into Birmingham.

The simulation below potrays Terry's vision of the Camp Hill locks:

Camp Hill is a strategic location for the Diagonal Lock, there is potential to achieve a world-class urban regeneration project on Birmingham's doorstep, so why Camp Hill?

  • Camp Hill locks are situated on the Grand Union canal, and are a main artery for boating traffic into Birmingham from the south of England.
  • The current locks at Camp Hill are narrow and do not accomodate wide-beam boats, limiting the boating traffic that can access Birmingham's central waterways.
  • Both locks and the canal at Camp Hill are in poor condition - this area is prime for regeneration.
  • Camp Hill encompasses a multifaceted combination of road and rail networks, the Diagonal Lock and underground complex can be integrated into the current infrastructure. Centro have a proposed development to create a spur line from the Kings Heath line into Moor Street through Camp Hill, the required viaduct can be integrated into the regeneration plan to reduce construction costs for Centro and Birmingham City Council.

The underground complex with shops, bars and restuarants are integral to the regeneration project. Birmingham's Bull Ring attracts millions of visitors per year - providing similar facilities at Camp Hill (on a smaller scale) will ensure that businesses thrive and the Diagonal Lock can operate successfully as a tourist attraction all-year round.

The inclusion of a canal museum will also drive visitor numbers to Camp Hill. Birmingham has a proud history of canal building and engineering, yet this is not properly celebrated or promoted. The canal museum at Camp Hill could be constructed around the canal itself to allow boaters to pass through the museum, providing visitors with a fascinating view of Birmingham's canals, past and present!

"A visit to Camp Hill would become a great day out for families and tourists - visiting the museum, doing some shopping and then dinner in a restuarant whilst watching the boats pass through the canal to enter the Diagonal Lock."

Terry Fogarty - Inventor of the Diagonal Lock

Camp Hill is deserving of regeneration and this proposal could transform the canal and the local area - offering a truly fitting and unique gateway to Birmingham City's waterways!

Supporting Information