Fort Dunlops History

History of Fort Dunlop

Fort Dunlop was built in 1916 as the main tyre factory of Dunlop Rubber. Designed by Sidney Stott and W.W. Gibbings, at one point it was the largest factory in the world. In 1954, it employed 10,000 workers.

Dunlop Rubber dominated the international tyre industry in the 19th and 20th centuries and opened factories as far as India, Japan and Australia in the 1920s. As the flagship factory, Fort Dunlop became an iconic landmark in the UK and abroad. The main factory closed in the 1980s, with a small, specialised motorsport operation continuing until 2014.

Since its busy factory days, Fort Dunlop hit the record books again in 2001 when it was the site of the world’s largest poster advertisement. In keeping with Fort Dunlop’s motoring heritage, Ford Mondeo’s advertisement covered the side of the building; it was 130m wide and 24m high. David Beckham’s face adorned the building a year later for an Adidas campaign, which could be seen over a mile away.

In recent years, Fort Dunlop has been redeveloped, maintaining the original façade of the building. It has a penthouse level and decked rooftop with stunning views of the Birmingham skyline. A circular light well punctures through the floor plates from the roof into the heart of the building, providing natural light to illuminate the atrium.

Fort Dunlop’s rich heritage and cutting edge architecture adds to the charm of the building, which is a hub of innovation and creativity, and home to over 40 businesses – many in the digital, creative and media industries. Close to the Birmingham city centre, Fort Dunlop offers grade A office space, retail and leisure outlets, eateries, a hotel and unique event spaces for hire.