£31m education hub now open

L/R: Jaspreet Singh, President of Birmingham City Students’ Union; Professor Philip Plowden, Vice-Chancellor; and Professor Keith Horton, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean.

£31m education hub now open

Birmingham City University’s new £31m building has now officially opened, offering more than 650 rooms of teaching and learning space for 3,000 students.

Facing Gopsal Street, the new building, known as Curzon B, comprises 100,000 square feet of additional state-of-the-art and experimental facilities for the institution’s existing City Centre Campus courses.

Designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects and constructed by Willmott Dixon, the building will assist in catering for the needs of the institution’s growing student numbers.

The structure extends the University’s award-winning £63 million Curzon building, which has been housed on Cardigan Street in Birmingham’s Eastside since 2015 and continues the University’s transformation of this part of the city.

Students and staff gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony which was led by Birmingham City University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Philip Plowden.

This was followed by tours of the new building led by members of the institution’s Estates and Facilities team. 

Professor Philip Plowden, vice-chancellor, Birmingham City University, said: “From individual study pods to meeting rooms, we hope that students will really benefit from these facilities that will help them achieve success in their studies.

“We are committed to providing the best possible learning experience for all our students and this extension will play a key part for that aim.

“With work now commencing on HS2, we are delighted to be further contributing to the renaissance of Birmingham’s Eastside area with the latest expansion of our City Centre Campus – already a major landmark for hundreds of thousands of people arriving at Birmingham New Street by train every day.”

As well as a new, dedicated IT suite for students – with nearly 100 laptops available for loan – Curzon B has an innovative lecture theatre called The Hive which features raked, group activity seating, integrated technology and excellent sight lines.

The new space is also now home to the University’s Centre of Academic Success, the New Technology Institute (NTI) and its Students’ Union.

As part of the project, 3,000 students from the University’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment gained real-life experience of working across the construction industry by putting the theory learned in the classroom into practice.

The developers also offered 10 paid placements throughout the build, while three graduates are now employed full time by Willmott Dixon in the Birmingham region.

The building forms part of the University’s £260 million investment into new and advanced facilities which was also strengthened with the opening of the new £57 million Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in September last year.