Why the Aston Ward (incorporating the neighbourhoods of Aston, Lozells and Birchfield)?
Read and watch what the BBC-funded project, “My Life in Aston” had to say about the neighbourhood here. Be sure to click on the links to the various video clips.
- Aston is situated on the north side of Birmingham city centre with a neighbourhood population of 27,000
- It is a multi-ethnic neighbourhood with a relatively even balance between Asian (49.8%), black (20.3%) and white (23.5%) communities.
- It is a multi-faith neighbourhood – predominantly Muslim (44.3%) and Christian (32.4%), with a minority Hindu (2.6%) and Sikh (1.5%) population
- It is a seriously deprived area – the second most deprived neighbourhood in Birmingham; (the most deprived area doesn’t have the same ethnic mix as Aston). 88.2% of the population of Aston fall in the Nation’s top 10% of people living with multiple deprivation. It’s Townsend Score (which rates the relative deprivation of all the Wards in Birmingham) is 6.1 – the second highest in Birmingham (The highest is 6.3).
- There is a very high level of unemployment – at 22.5% the Aston neighbourhood has the highest unemployment figures of any neighbourhood in Birmingham (the figure for the whole of Birmingham is 8.9% and the figure for the UK as a whole in the last quarter of 2005 was 5.0%).
- There is continuous ongoing migration (Aston is one of the most used neighbourhoods for housing Asylum Seekers and Refugees; at the same time the Afro-Caribbean community is beginning to shrink while the Asian community is growing).
- The presence of inter-community conflict and tension – caused by differences in ethnicity, religion and disputes over allocation of funding.
- It is an area with significant problems with drugs, gangs and gun and knife crime.
- It is served by one Catholic parish (Parish of the Sacred Heart) and one Catholic Primary School (Sacred Heart Primary School). There are a variety of other Christian churches in the neighbourhood (Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, United Reformed Church, Pentecostal Churches, Evangelical Churches and Assemblies of God Churches), and at least twelve mosques.
- It has three local train stations in the Ward area and is well served by buses in and out of the city centre.
The Irish Province of the Missionaries of the Sacred heart has purchased a new house on Ettington Road in the centre of Aston as the home of the Cordate Community. It is on a street parallel to the Catholic Church and facing one of the Aston Mosques. To see photos tracing the building of the house, click here.