Birmingham city centre poppy displays to support Royal British Legion

Retail BID Birmingham is giving city centre visitors the opportunity to remember those who fought together during the Second World War by decorating the black public realm protection barriers with over 3,000 poppies.

Trees on New Street, High Street and Lower Temple Street will also be lit red for the duration of Birmingham’s Poppy Appeal until Armistice Day, Sunday, November 11 – to create a beautiful visual statement in support of the vital work of The Royal British Legion.

The steel barriers, known officially as National Barrier Assets, were re-painted in gloss black and dressed with decorative planting by Retail BID during the summer.

The barrier painting is one of several cleaning projects carried out by the BID in the city centre retail area.

The Royal British Legion, which has a branch on New Street, provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces community – serving men and women, veterans, and their families.

For 2019, The Royal British Legion is asking communities across Britain to come together to remember the service and sacrifice, friendship and collaboration of the men and women of Britain, the Commonwealth and Allied nations who fought together 75 years ago.

Allies from the Commonwealth and other nations had fought shoulder to shoulder with Britain since the start of the Second World War, but in 1944 this collaboration would result in victory in three critical battles; Monte Cassino, D-Day, and Kohima and Imphal.

Sophia Snell, Community Fundraising Manager, West Midlands, said: “Each day our Armed Forces provide an incredible service to our country in all kinds of ways, many of which we don’t necessarily see, but all of which impact our lives. The unseen sacrifices they make on our behalf deserve to be recognised so wear your poppy withpride and show your support for our Armed Forces community, past and present.

“Every donation received will make a real difference not only to the lives of Service men and women and veterans, but to their families as well who can also experience difficulties dealing with the circumstances of a loved one who is serving.”

This is the second year that the Retail Business Improvement District and its members have shown their support for the Royal British Legion.

In 2018 BID invested £97,000 in the new tree-lighting system to help decorate the city centre for Christmas and other seasonal events. The cost-saving LED lights are environmentally friendly and their supports do not harm any trees.

Retail BID Deputy Chair Lisa Williams, said: “It is really important to the BID and the retailers in the city centre to support the Royal British Legion by installing the floral tribute and turning the trees red to help raise funds during the Birmingham Poppy Day Appeal.”