The University of Birmingham’s main campus is in Edgbaston, just two miles south of the centre. It’s an enviable location, with rolling green parkland and a genuine sense of space.
But with a city as vibrant as Birmingham, sometimes you want to be in the thick of it.
What is the Exchange?
It’s the University’s new city hub, bringing together communities and the public, private and third sectors.
By sharing and driving city and community-focused research, it will help to make all our cities and regions better places to live, work and learn.
It’s also going to offer a brand new venue for conferences and events, providing a fantastic city-based alternative to those on campus.
Who is the Exchange for?
A historic building like this one should be for everyone – and it will be.
The Banking Hall and Vaults will be dedicated year-round to exhibitions and discussion spaces. The aim? To engage and involve the general public in inspiring research. These public programmes will include talks, workshops, school visits and family fun days. A welcoming cafe-bar will make it easy to take a break, too.
The first floor will be dedicated to city-based or socially-engaged research, with a focus on improving health, wellbring and fairness in cities around the world.
And it will be a new, inspiring venue for conferences and events, too.
The second floor’s two meeting spaces and roof terrace will be ideal for a range of events, exhibitions, presentations, leadership training and more. Conferences will also have the flexibility to use other areas outside public opening hours.
Where is the Exchange?
If you’re familiar with Birmingham, you’ll probably already know it: the Old Municipal Bank at 3 Centenary Square.
If not, it’s the beautiful pillared building opposite the Library.
It’ll be in good company. The whole area is undergoing redevelopment, with a host of new buildings and open space on Chamberlain Square, plus restaurants and cafes.
The rear of the Exchange will feature a new glazed entrance, linking it directly with the new Arena Central development and Bank Court.
Soon it’ll be even easier to reach, too. The tram line is being extended from Grand Central to Five Ways via Centenary Square, giving quick, regular access from Birmingham New Street.
When will the Exchange open?
Work is already underway to transform the space while retaining all its character, as befits this impressive Grade II-listed building.
The goal is to open the doors in summer 2021 – in good time for 2022’s Commonwealth Games.
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