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EDITIONS
 Monday, 23 December, 2002, 12:27 GMT
Balti Belt 'neglected', restaurants claim
Curry
The Balti Belt brings an estimated 7m to the city
Birmingham's famous Balti Belt is struggling to survive because of a lack of investment, restaurateurs say.

The owners of many of the 50 curry houses in the Moseley, Sparkhill, and Balsall Heath areas claim the city council is neglecting the area.

As a result, many of the restaurateurs say they are now facing financial ruin.

But councillor Andrew Coulson, from Birmingham City Council, denies the council is not doing enough.

'Encourage restaurants'

He said if anything, the Balti restaurants get more help than others.

He told BBC Radio WM: "There is more competition now than there was.

"Lots of restaurants have opened in the city centre and lots of restaurants have opened in the suburbs so they have got to compete.

"It is very hard work but the city is very involved.

"We have helped on the Balti guide and we encourage coach parties there - we encourage them (Balti restaurants) in every way."

He added: "In fact, they get more help than many other parts of the city so the future is really in their hands."

The Balti Belt phenomenon put Birmingham on the culinary map and it is thought the restaurants bring an estimated annual turnover of 7m into the city.


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22 Aug 02 | England
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