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Our timeline

The new Deaf Cultural Centre as seen from the front of the building at Ladywood Road, Birmingham

2011
The Deaf Cultural Centre’s Conference and Events business is re-branded as the Signing Tree Conference Centre.

The Conference Centre operates as a Social Enterprise, so when you book your event with us, not only are you supporting our community, you are supporting your own organisation’s social responsibility aims.

2007
After a build that lasted nearly two years, staff and volunteers based at Harborne Court and also at Monument Road finally moved into the new centre.

On 10th September, HRH The Princess Royal officially opened the Deaf Cultural Centre. In the following month, on 13th October, the centre was eventually opened to the public and the community.

2006
Staff and volunteers based at the centre in Ladywood Road were relocated to temporary offices at Harborne Court, less than a mile away. Later in the year, the centre was demolished.

2005
BID’s idea for the Deaf Cultural Centre was born with crucial investment from FutureBuilders and architects D5 designed an excellent facility to accommodate the charity.

1998
Offices in Monument Road were rented due to a shortage of space.

1973
BID moved from Granville Street to a new centre in Ladywood Road after an appeal launched in the early 1970s raised £57,000.

1952
BID and the Birmingham Local Authority set up the first contract in the UK to provide a statutory service for Deaf people.

1932
Enough funds were raised to convert a warehouse and stables in Granville Street into the first centre in the city for Deaf people. The building was initially named “Birmingham Institute for the Deaf and Dumb” but as attitudes changed, the name was shortened to “Birmingham Institute for the Deaf.”

1873
Town Missions asked for subscriptions from the general public towards the “Missions for the Deaf and Dumb“, work growing to such an extent that “The Birmingham Adult Deaf and Dumb Association” was formed as a separate charity. The committee resolved, along with the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, “that it is desirable that an Institute for the Adult Deaf and Dumb of Birmingham and district should be established and a Committee be now elected to carry out this project.”

The next thirty years saw the association develop, but with no permanent meeting place.

1872
Birmingham Town Mission was a charity with offices in Temple Row and two outreach centres in Balsall Heath. During this year, the charity set up two new schemes, expanding on its initial purpose of providing assistance to men and women in need of shelter and alleviating the suffering of the poor and of those in distress. One of these new schemes was to establish a mission to cabmen, and the other an outreach to the “Deaf and Dumb” community. A ‘Missionary’ was appointed, Mr. W. A. Griffiths, who was Deaf himself. He gave Christian lectures and visited deaf people in their own homes.