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4. Millennium Point, Birmingham, £111.6M

Birmingham's Millennium Point has a science and technology theme and is intended to regenerate the Digbeth area, once the heart of the city.

Site clearance has already started but construction is not expected to begin until late 1998 or early 1999, with the project opening in summer 2001. Architect Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners has led design work, and four more consultants were signed up in October - Mace (project management), Buro Happold (structural engineer), Ove Arup (building services) and Bucknall Austin (quantity surveyor). Detailed design is now under way and contractors will tender in spring.

The private sponsorship target of £6M has been reached. Sponsors include Severn Trent, Jaguar and Rover Group. The Millennium Commission has allocated a maximum £50M grant with the rest of the funding coming primarily from the European Regional Development Fund, English Partnerships, local government and universities.

The project includes a Discovery Centre with an interactive museum and a Technology Innovation Centre where training courses combined with R&D and technology transfer will draw on the expertise of the University of Central England. It will also house a University of the First Age, intended to make high quality learning available to all secondary school pupils - and incorporating the 'Young People's Parliament'. LR


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