Soho, West Midlands
Soho is an area on the borders of Central Birmingham and Smethwick, approximately 2 miles north west of Birmingham city centre on the A41. The name is an abbreviation of South House, denoting that it was located to the south of Handsworth. The section of the A41 separating Handsworth from Winson Green is known as Soho Road.
Soho expanded dramatically during the 19th century with the construction of numerous houses and factories, and immigration from the Commonwealth was centred in these homes during the 1950s and 1960s. Most of the immigrants who settled in Soho were of Indian origin.
Further housebuilding took place by the local council during the 1960s and 1970s.
Soho falls partly in the Soho ward of the City of Birmingham and partly in the Soho and Victoria ward of the Borough of Sandwell.
Soho ward, Birmingham
The 2001 Population Census found that 25,634 people were living in Soho with a population density of 5,369 people per km² compared with 3,649 people per km² for Birmingham. Soho covers an area of 4.8 km². The ward is a very ethnically diverse area with ethnic minorities making up 76.2% (19,522) of the ward's population, compared with 29.6% for Birmingham.
- White British – 20.48%
- White Irish – 2.20%
- White Other – 1.17%
- Mixed: White and Black Caribbean – 2.80%
- Mixed: White and Black African – 0.22%
- Mixed: White and Asian – 0.81%
- Mixed: Other – 0.95%
- Indian – 26.77%
- Pakistani – 13.99%
- Bangladeshi – 3.88%
- Other Asian – 2.31%
- Afro-Caribbean – 18.13%
- African – 1.44%
- Other Black – 2.42%
- Chinese – 0.69%
Soho Ward has adopted a Ward Support Officer with the current holder of the title being Tariq M. Khan.
Places of interest
Industrialist Matthew Boulton opened his "Soho Manufactory" (an early factory) there in 1761. Boulton himself resided at Soho House, now a community museum of the Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery run by Birmingham City Council.
Soho had stations on the LNWR's Stour Valley Line between Smethwick Rolfe Street and the also closed Winson Green railway station, and on the GWR between Handsworth and Smethwick (now Handsworth Booth Street) and Hockley (replaced by Jewellery Quarter). It is currently served by the Midland Metro on the former GWR line with a stop at Soho Benson Road tram stop.