Image courtesy of: Birmingham City University
Construction work on the first phase of Birmingham City University’s new creative innovation centre commences today (Monday 30 October).
The £3.5 million project known as STEAMhouse will include the refurbishment of a former car dealership in Birmingham’s Digbeth area to house the new centre and maker space.
By connecting Arts into STEM subject areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), STEAMhouse will provide support to 200 sole traders, start-ups and local businesses with access to expertise and finance for growth.
The refurbishment is being carried out by contractors Paragon Interiors Group and will open a test-bed for ideas next year, running until September 2019.
It is a partnership arrangement with Birmingham arts organisation Eastside Projects that aims to bring Arts in line with STEM subjects, encouraging a closer way of working across disciplines and industry sectors.
The initiative will inform a later,
Professor Julian Beer, deputy vice-chancellor, Birmingham City University, said: “Our STEAMhouse project will optimise the potential to create jobs, skills, knowledge and alliances between businesses, academics, artists and citizens like never before.
“We are delighted that work is now
Due to open on Digbeth High Street in early 2018, STEAMhouse’s pilot phase will bring together academics, entrepreneurs, designers, makers, future talent and organisations to foster greater innovation, develop new products, and support economic growth with a programme of business support.
It will house substantial new fabrication facilities with equipment and staffing to support production and making.
Ruth Claxton, STEAMhouse Creative Director and Eastside Projects associate director, said: “We have been able to create really fantastic production facilities within the STEAMhouse maker space.
“With a range of tools and equipment in digital, wood, metal and print, as well as a team of talented technicians who are able to offer professional advice, we are confident that we have created a fantastic new facility which will transform the way that people are able to develop products and prototype new ideas.”
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England, STEAMhouse will drive innovation and research to create business solutions that fuel long-term economic growth.
STEAMhouse supports the growth sectors of health and life sciences, low carbon, creative and digital technologies and advanced manufacturing across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) region, in turn, aiding the development of the Government’s Midlands Engine.
“We look forward to working across the STEAM disciplines and connecting businesses with the University to apply this new way of working for