I’m a resident at Strangetown Studio, which is based in the Telsen Centre in Aston, Birmingham. We’re in unit 319.
The postcode is B6 4TN.
It’s exclusively available to residents, and isn’t available for hourly rental, so it’s fairly straightforward to book time.
And we can book as long as we need for a shoot – whether it’s one hour, or a full day.
The Telsen Centre used to be an electronics factory, and was built in the 1930s – there are still a lot of period industrial features and distressed spaces – we can use those for shoots (although I’ll need to bring my portable lights, so give me some warning).
Please note that we have specific procedures relating to the Coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic – you can read about them here.
As we’re on the top floor, there is good natural light (depending on the weather, of course), and this is a soft, indirect light in the afternoons.
There are several studio strobe lights, and backdrop facilities, and a fan.
There’s a separate makeup / changing area.
There are tea & coffee facilities, but no shops or cafés in easy reach, so bring snacks if you want them.
The toilets are on a different floor, so you may want to bring a dressing gown.
There are heaters (for the winter).
Finding the Centre
The Telsen Centre is just outside Birmingham Ring Road, next to the A38M Aston Expressway.
Here it is on a StreetView link (that’s the Telsen Centre where it says “Business Units to Let”)
If you’re driving in on the A38M towards central Birmingham (that’s the A38M on the right of the picture). Exit at the Matalan island (signposted “Ring Road”) and go right round the island, so you almost get on to the A38M again. There are two filter roads to the left – take the leftmost (not the flyover) for Thomas Street, and you’re there.
If that seems complicated, here’s an aerial view – the studio is top/middle of the photo.
There is a car park, but they’ll penalise you
The best place to to park is probably on the exit slip (on the Streetview, down the left hand side – before the double yellow lines start).
There are sometimes spaces on Phillips Street (immediately to the left before the building), but don’t rely on it.
Alternatively, you can park on the pavement opposite (where the white van is), but I’m told they’ve started ticketing there as well .
There are loading facilities available, if you’ve lots of kit to bring in.
Clean Air Zone
From June 2021, Birmingham Council has introduced a Clean Air Zone.
You can read about it here .
The important thing to know is that Strangetown Studio is about 200m outside the zone (as is the Middleway ring road), so if you don’t go through the city centre, then you won’t get charged.
There are signs (at the time of writing) on the A38(|M) Aston Expressway telling you “Last Exit before Clean Air Zone” – they indicate the exit to take 🙂