Heritage Project

In 2013, with the help of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and many partners, we organised the British Chinese Heritage Project documenting Chinese Lives in Birmingham.

With exhibitions at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the Library of Birmingham and across the city,  Chinese Community Centre – Birmingham were fortunate to work together with partners and volunteers to uncover the remarkable stories behind the Chinese community of Birmingham. 

The “British Chinese Heritage Project | Chinese Lives in Birmingham” was created to capture the hidden histories of Birmingham’s Chinese community.

The project was awarded a grant of £35,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in April 2013 and was completed in June 2014.

There are approximately 20,000 ethnic Chinese living in Birmingham and the surrounding areas – this project helps to provide a valuable snapshot of their lives through individual stories and memories to preserve for future generations.


The British Chinese community is thought to be one of the oldest Chinese communities in Western Europe, with the first Chinese having come from the ports of Tianjin and Shanghai in the early 19th century. Later on in the 20th century, the majority of net migration came from former British colonies such as Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Large Chinese communities are found in many major UK cities including; London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Sheffield, Nottingham, Belfast and Aberdeen.

Anna Yim, CEO of Chinese Community Centre – Birmingham said; “We are delighted to be able to create this historical project that looks at the lives of individual migrants and British Chinese, as well as the development of the Chinese community in Birmingham – an integral part of the city’s history over the last half-century or so.

For further information, please contact our Senior Care Officer:
Kate Gordon