Ed James tours Westside to encourage people to return to the ‘golden mile’

Top radio DJ Ed James is heading a new video to boost the ‘golden mile’ of Birmingham as venues in and around Broad Street get ready to reopen.

Ed, who entertains listeners on Heart FM in the West Midlands, has recorded a three-and-a-half minute promotional video for Westside BID extolling what the area has to offer.

Its aim is to highlight those hospitality and retail venues planning to re-open their doors following the easing of lockdown restrictions in just over a week’s time.

The video is due to be aired on the Local TV West Midlands satellite channel accessible via Freeview 7, Virgin 159 and Sky Guide 117.

Ed is seen welcoming viewers to Westside, describing it as “the beating heart of Brum”, and says how it’s “brilliant news” that many of the area’s restaurants, bars and pubs with outdoor seating areas are reopening on 12 April,

Ed then visits the Park Regis Hotel on Broad Street where managing director, and BID director, John Angus says they have managed to remain open throughout the pandemic.

Mr Angus explains that he was looking forward to opening outdoor spaces on 12 April, and then the start of the European football championships in June.

He says: “We have a two-phase plan. The idea is to open the outdoor place on the 12th where we can safely seat about 65 covers at any time.

“That will create a fantastic atmosphere. And, then, at the beginning of June, we go back to the big screen.”

Ed then pays a visit to Lee Longlands furniture store, which has sat on its present site in Broad Street since 1931.

The DJ explains he had “really missed” going to an actual store rather than a supermarket and Robert Lee, of Lee Longlands, says the family company had been going for 120 years.

Mr Lee adds: “The last year has been really tough. We need the energy of the staff and the customers all in the same place. That’s what we are looking forward to.”

Ed’s final port of call on the video is to Bank restaurant in Brindleyplace.

Adin Memetovic of Bank says: “I am very excited to welcome my guests and my team back.

“They will be able to use both of our al fresco dining areas outside with all our safety measures we have put in place, including perspex screens.

“We are confident we have put lots of safety measures in place and people can enjoy themselves, hopefully in the sun as well.”

The final word in the video goes to Ed who adds: “The venues in Westside have put an awful lot of thought into what happens when we can all come back and enjoy things from 12 April.

“And how good will it be just to be outside in the sunshine again, enjoying food and drink with friends. I can’t wait!”

By Tony Collins

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