Birmingham Municipal Bank headquarters

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Birmingham Municipal Bank
Birmingham Municipal Bank.jpg
General information
Architectural styleNeo Classical
Address301 Broad Street
Town or cityBirmingham
Coordinates52°28′42.80″N 1°54′27.34″W / 52.4785556°N 1.9075944°W / 52.4785556; -1.9075944Coordinates: 52°28′42.80″N 1°54′27.34″W / 52.4785556°N 1.9075944°W / 52.4785556; -1.9075944
Current tenantsVacant
Completed1933 (1933)
ClientBirmingham Municipal Bank
OwnerBirmingham City Council
Technical details
MaterialPortland stone
Floor count1(OG) 1(UG)
Design and construction
ArchitectThomas Cecil Howitt
Listed Building – Grade II
Designated14 October 1996
Reference no.1268165
Metal door

The former headquarters of the Birmingham Municipal Bank is a Grade II listed building by Thomas Cecil Howitt opposite what is now Centenary Square at 301 Broad Street, Birmingham, England.

The building was opened on 27 November 1933 by Prince George.[1] The BMB ceased to be a department of the city council in 1976, becoming a Trustee Savings Bank,[2]

After the bank vacated the building, it was sold in 2006 to Birmingham City Council.[3] The building was granted grade II listed status on 14 October 1996.[4]

In November 2017, the University of Birmingham completed the purchase of the Municipal Bank. It is planned to create a city centre showcase to display its research and host performances and exhibitions.

Art venue[edit]

The building has subsequently seen occasional use as an art venue. In March 2007, Birmingham Opera Company produced a new version of Mozart's Don Giovanni, renamed He Had It Coming, in the bank.

Thrift Radiates Happiness[edit]

Ceiling Inscription

On 14–17 March 2013 the first contemporary arts exhibition at the building was held, titled 'Thrift Radiates Happiness'.[5] The title of the exhibition was Thrift Radiates Happiness. The line was taken from an inscription found carved across a main beam within the building.

The exhibition included a programme of drawings, images, sound and light, video and sound from local, national and international artists with all the works focused on finance and investment.

The event was an arts and business collaboration between Birmingham based gallery TROVE, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Birmingham Architectural Association (BAA), Birmingham City Council and architecture practice Aedas. Entrance to the exhibition was free thanks to funding awarded by The Arts Council, RIBA and Aedas.

Universe of Sound[edit]

The Universe of Sound:The Planets exhibition ran from 25 May until 16 June 2013 with Esa-Pekka Salonen as conductor.[6]

Universe of Sound allowed visitors to take a leap into space in the company of Gustav Holst, Strauss, György Ligeti and Stanley Kubrick, with two concerts, a free digital installation and family activity day.

The exhibition took place over three weeks, showing what it is like to be part of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and provided a chance for people of any ability to have a go at conducting The Planets through an interactive installation. This gave the chance to explore the orchestra from the inside out[clarification needed] using touch screens, movement-based interaction and planetarium-style full-dome projections.


  1. ^ Birmingham Municipal Bank, new head offices, souvenir of opening ceremony performed by His Royal Highness The Prince George, K.G., 27 November 1933
  2. ^ British Banking History Society (2003). "Birmingham Municipal Bank". Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  3. ^ "Birmingham City Council buys landmark building on Broad Street". King Sturge. 2006-05-09. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Details from image database (462175)". Images of England. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Thrift Radiates Happiness Exhibition Website".
  6. ^ "Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Birmingham Exhibition Information and Video". Archived from the original on 11 November 2014.