Each month we talk to a new character in town to discuss living and working in the city. This month its Julian Kettleborough from The Studio
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am Julian Kettleborough , the commercial director of The Studio, a unique, innovative city centre meeting and event space, which hosts both daytime meetings and evening events for up to 250 guests.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
We’re located on Cannon Street, which is slap bang between the three main rail stations, so I tend to take the train.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
It’s a great commute, with a good service between all stations. I like the free WIFI provided by Chiltern as it gives me an opportunity to catch up with my e-mails, in between chatting to my fellow passengers of course. After five years of daily commuting you do tend to get to see one or two familiar faces each morning, even if it takes a few years to get talking.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
Although it’s not our only location, Birmingham’s a great spot for our venue. Many of the clients we work with have multiple offices and Birmingham is seen as the perfect central location to bring teams together. I think it’s a progressive city too and many of the exciting developments taking place will only enhance its reputation. Birmingham is also a friendly city and that makes working here all the more pleasurable.
I prefer to support independent businesses so for nearby client meetings and great coffee I head to 6/8 Kafe on Temple Row.
Tends to be on the run. I’m a bit of a grazer and if you time it well there’s often great food to eat on site. But if I was to choose a place to eat with another team member or client then I’d go for Jamie’s Italian – Italian is definitely my favourite. Or I’d head to the food hall in Selfridges and look for something different.
If I’m seeking inspiration or ideas, then I think it’s absolutely essential to change my scenery. Almost any different spot will do it. But if I just want a quick stroll then I’d head to St Philips Square and do a bit of people watching. I love seeing the diversity of people in the city and on a sunny day it’s a lovely place to be.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
Hmm that’s a toughie, probably still the Jewellery Quarter. I like its quirkiness and despite being so close to the centre it’s really retained a distinct identity. Individuality is so important, too many city centres are becoming facsimiles of each other.
I have to admit I rarely stay in the city after work, unless I’m networking. But my favourite bar would be Lost & Found, again for its individuality. Drinks wise, I’m quite partial to a glass (or two) of Pinot Noir, or even the odd cocktail.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
I’d like to see it looking less like a construction site right now and once the trams are up and running I’d like the council to put the trees back on Corporation Street – I’m amazed they were chopped down so readily. We need more green at the heart of the city, it makes it much more pleasant for us country bumpkins.