We are thrilled to announce that BOM has been allocated funding of £300,000 from the Community Ownership Fund to support their bid to save historic pub The Crown on Station Street, Birmingham.

This substantial funding is part of the latest allocations awarded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to community assets across the UK on 30th June 2023. 

The funding has been distributed to help community groups take ownership of local institutions that have fallen into disrepair or are under threat of closure. The aim to use this financial support to breathe new life into the selected spaces will support their delivery of vital services, create opportunities as well as boost our local economies.    

BOM has received this funding to support its ongoing bid to save the historic and much-loved pub, The Crown in Birmingham and reopen it as a dynamic and inclusive venue for new music and immersive performance.


Closed for nearly a decade, The Crown is legendary for its defining role in music culture and innovation. It is where the UK’s first live folk recording was made, considered “the first progressive music venue outside of London” and launched the careers of countless bands, including Black Sabbath who performed there for the first time.

Karen Newman, Founder & CEO of BOM said “We are absolutely delighted to receive the exciting news that we have been awarded £300,000 in the second wave of COF funding allocations. 

“The Crown is at a desperate point of being lost for good and this funding is a much-needed boost as we work with Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Combined Authority to ensure it is saved and returned to community use. 

“In the planning for nearly two years, this visionary capital project is at a crucial stage, and the COF announcement has bolstered our commitment to securing the additional investment and support needed to bring back into use this important space for Birmingham’s diverse music communities.

“As heritage at risk in a prime real estate location, this has been an extremely complex project to navigate. However, The Crown is a vital part of Birmingham’s social and cultural heritage and one that is worth fighting for.”

Home to diverse music communities from folk, blues, reggae, ska and metal (including a still-active Facebook group of over 1,100 Crown Punks Birmingham), The Crown needs a full, sensitive restoration to bring it back to life as the progressive, experimental space for live performance and innovation that it once was. The Crown is an institution in Birmingham’s musical history with fans and residents petitioning for the venue to be saved for many years.


BOM’s strategic plan to salvage the Crown will bring a multitude of benefits to the city and communities such as:-

  • Boost tourism through the reopening of this historic live music venue and pub, attracting 100,000 visitors per year
  • Create a dynamic new space for music innovation and immersive performance 
  • Engage underserved young people across the city through music technology programmes
  • Supporting diverse artists through talent development programmes 

Karen continued “We have been working in partnership with Birmingham City Council to secure the safe return of the Crown for the cultural benefit of our city, its residents and the local economy. This has been an extremely intricate project to navigate, and we would like to thank Birmingham City Council for their ongoing support in helping us move closer to saving The Crown from the devastating possibility of aggressive commercial redevelopment.”

Dehenna Davison, Minister for Levelling Up, said “This cash will help to revive the Crown and restore it to its former glory, opening it as a space for people to enjoy live music for generations to come.  

“We want people across the country to have great opportunities no matter where they live, and ensuring that they can continue to benefit from treasured local institutions is an important part of this.”    

News of the levelling up funding comes hot on the heels of an exciting few weeks for BOM with their recent award of £50,000 from Innovate UK’s Inclusive Innovation award and the announcement that they will be joining forces to substantially expand their immersive output with renowned digital innovators Taran3D from 1st July.