UoB aims to restore the extraordinary Municipal Bank

The bank will soon be a part of our campus

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The University of Birmingham is planning to restore the currently unoccupied Municipal Bank  by working with Birmingham City Council and partners.

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The university intends to refurbish the bank by building various facilities such as a community education hub, performance areas for music/drama, food provisions, training spaces, and functions rooms in order to extend the current university campus.

Professor Sir David Eastwood, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham explained that, “The foundation stone was laid by Neville Chamberlain, son of the University’s founder and first Chancellor, Joseph Chamberlain.

“We are now bringing this historic landmark back into use for the people of Birmingham, providing a new public gateway to the University’s research and cultural assets.

“The decision reflects the University’s commitment to playing an active role in the development of the city and to the sharing of research and knowledge beyond campus boundaries.”

The Grade II listed building is opposite Centenary Square and the Birmingham Library and was designed by architect, T Cecil Howitt, in the Monumental Classical architectural style. The building provides a remarkable opportunity for the University to expand its campus in a cultural city centre.

Trevor Payne, Director of Estates at the University, said, “The large and flexible space brings outstanding potential for a number of exciting initiatives from cultural showcases and community engagement to professional education and access to research.

“As we develop plans to restore the space, we will continue to explore and consult on how to bring the best of the University to the city.”

The original Municipal Bank was founded by the former Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Neville Chamberlain, who created the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank by a 1916 Act of Parliament in hoping to raise money for World War I. Joseph Chamberlain (Neville’s father), former Mayor and politician established the University of Birmingham and so the refurbishment builds on the heritage of the university.