Bennie Gray — owner of The Custard Factory and The Big Peg, and head of the SPACE organisation which runs another nine projects in the city — warns in today’s Post that…

“Birmingham must urgently embrace the spirit of entrepreneurialism the city was built upon […] In a call-to-arms manifesto entitled A Challenge For Birmingham, printed in full on pages six and seven, Mr Gray said: “In the past Birmingham was known as ‘The City of a Thousand Trades’. “Now, as we face the threat of economic meltdown, Birmingham must become the city of a thousand new opportunities…”.”

“What Birmingham needs right now is dozens of informal Custard Factory-type organisations [to service] the multitude of small enterprises [that have been] honing their nascent skills and ideas and waiting for the right opportunity for too long […] It won’t be easy. In practice it will demand a whole layer of fresh and unfamiliar thinking within a bureaucratic culture that is risk averse…”