Millennium Point (Birmingham)

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For the building in the US, see Millennium Point (New York City).
Millennium Point
Millennium Point Exterior.jpg
General information
Type Mixed Use
Location Curzon Street, Birmingham, England
Completed September 2001
Cost 114 million Pound sterling
Owner Millennium Point Trust
Design and construction
Architecture firm Grimshaw Architects
Structural engineer Buro Happold
Civil engineer Ove Arup & Partners
Main contractor Galliford Try

Millennium Point is a multi-use meeting complex in Birmingham, England, situated in the developing Eastside of the city centre. The complex contains Birmingham Science Museum, Birmingham School of Acting and Birmingham City University's Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment, part of Birmingham Metropolitan College and a Giant Screen cinema.

The complex was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 2 July 2002, although it had been in use since the previous year.


Millennium Point is a Millennium Commission project, and it was designed by Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners. Construction is estimated to have cost £114 million, and £50 million funding was granted by the National Lottery.[1]

The building is constructed mainly as a cuboid, with a cylindrical offshoot holding the cinema. This annexe glows different colours at night. The front facade is mainly glass, and is covered in long slats with the logo of Millennium Point revealed behind.


The purpose of the complex is primarily educational, and as such is home to Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. The largest tenant of the building is currently the Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment - the technology faculty of Birmingham City University. The university also operates the Birmingham School of Acting on site. Faculties of Birmingham Metropolitan College, the University of the First Age and the Young People's Parliament are located in smaller units, as is teachers' network Tide~ global learning.


A major attraction within Millennium Point was the Giant Screen Cinema, which extended into the complex's atrium. After a 10-year deal with IMAX ended, Millennium Point made the commercial decision to become an independent large-screen movie theatre. They renovated the cinema, including replacing the original silver coated IMAX screen with a brand new white 70 by 41 feet (21 by 12 m) screen that was installed through the roof. Barco 4K digital projectors, paired with Dolby Digital 3D technology were fitted, along with a major update to the existing 15000 W sound system. The decision was made to close the Giant Screen Cinema at the beginning of 2015 with the announcement being made on 5 September 2014. [2]


Millennium Point is the location of Birmingham's annual "Christmas Lights Switch On" event.[3] The 2008 event saw fairground rides and live music, including performances by Alesha Dixon, Alphabeat and Scouting for Girls, with Lemar switching on the lights.[4] Previous events have hosted sets by Leona Lewis and McFly.

In May 2006, the atrium of the building was used to host a theatrical extravaganza, From Ithaca With Love, a modern retelling of Homer's The Odyssey, which was the launch event of the New Generation Arts Festival. Produced by Simon M. Woods and adapted and directed by Malachi Bogdanov, the event required blacking out the roof and windows and incorporated both a speedboat and Lotus car.

In June 2006, the front car park was converted into a viewing area for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, including a large 6m × 10m digital screen. On 19 July 2006, the screen was strengthened to withstand strong winds, but eventually it collapsed. For safety reasons, subsequent games were shown on a smaller, temporary screen.[5]

At around the same time, and over a period of two days, 20,107 people drew around their feet on A4 pieces of paper and placed them outside Millennium Point to create the longest display of footprints.[6]

In 2008, Millennium Point hosted the Hello Digital arts festival. The focus was interactive multimedia, and numerous performances of the Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre were held.

In 2009, the Christmas Lights Switch-On was cancelled over safety concerns which resulted in the Millennium Point Concert Stampede. Larger than expected numbers turned up and were locked out of the event, due to overcrowding. Subsequently, the locked-out crowd broke down the fencing, causing a stampede, leaving dozens injured and the event cancelled.[7]

In the last few years, Millennium Point has become a hub of activity for events that have been publicised around the city. In both 2014 and 2015, Millennium Point hosted the Birmingham Independent Food Fair alongside Food Birmingham which saw a number of exhibitors descend onto the premises both inside and on the grass area outside to create a weekend celebrating local food and drink traders and what they have to offer. [8]

Millennium Point hosts many public-facing events, notable examples of which have included the UK version of the World Barista Championship and Crowd Out - an exclusive performance by Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer David Lang alongside the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Events with an educational focus have included hosting the Anne Frank Trust UK traveling exhibit "Anne Frank + You"[9] in 2015.

The organisation supports growth within the Eastside area and the city as a whole and has hosted events such as the High Speed 2 rail line panel discussions and the "Birmingham Made Me" event promoting local industries in 2014 and 2015. [10]

The Building's Structure[edit]

In 2004, glass panels fell off the front of the building.[11] This resulted in green webbing and metal barriers being placed around one half of the building while investigations took place. The unsightly webbing stretched the full height of the building and remained in place for some time. The damage was subsequently repaired and building management has implemented ongoing testing to ensure continuing safe conditions.

Ongoing Development[edit]

Millennium Point is located adjacent to the current Eastside Locks development and also the planned future High Speed 2 rail station and terminus. The former front car park is now Eastside City Park and a replacement multi-storey car park has been built to the rear of the building fronting Jennens Road to provide access for visitors to Millennium Point, Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum and Birmingham City University.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Lottery grant report". ITV Local/Birmingham City University. 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Christmas Lights Switch On". Birmingham City Council. 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2006. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Lemar to switch on Christmas lights". BBC Birmingham. 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2006. 
  5. ^ "World Cup big screen blown over". BBC News. 20 June 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2006. 
  6. ^ "Giant footprint stamped on Perth". The Birmingham Post. 2006. Retrieved 24 July 2006. 
  7. ^ "Dozens hurt in lights switch-on". BBC News. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Anne Frank Trust UK
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Arup probe into broken glass panels". Construction News. 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°28′58.47″N 1°53′9.81″W / 52.4829083°N 1.8860583°W / 52.4829083; -1.8860583