Birmingham 2020 - 19 June 2014

The University of Birmingham has spent the last few years planning the largest ever capital development programme of our 280 acre Edgbaston site and on Thursday 19 June alumni came to a panel discussion, chaired by Professor Alice Roberts, Professor of Public Engagement in Science, to find out more.

Within the next few years, we will see:

  • a new Library, which will transform the way we support our students through the use of new and emerging technologies, enhanced study spaces and improved access to our vast University collections and cultural heritage;
  • a new Sports Centre, which will support all levels of participants from absolute beginners to those with specific health problems to the University and City’s elite athletes. The new space will offer a 50m pool as well as the opportunity to double existing student members and treble potential community membership;
  • the University of Birmingham School, the first of its kind in the country. The school will transform the lives of children in our city by creating a learning community that will maximise the personal and academic achievement of all its pupils and develop new methods of teacher training and pedagogical research;
  • the Institute for Translational Medicine. Delivered by Birmingham Health Partners – the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), the University of Birmingham (UoB) and Birmingham Children’s Hospital – the ITM will be an amazing facility which will use pioneering science to accelerate the delivery of personalised healthcare. It will speed up the rate at which research can improve patient outcomes and allow the rapid and cost-effective assessment of new drugs, medical devices and diagnostics to quickly bring them to market and frontline clinical use;
  • and the redevelopment of the Lapworth Museum, which contains the largest and finest geological collection in the West Midlands. By embedding the latest technologies and being innovative with the space, we will improve the visitor experience and ensure that this gem of a museum is accessible to many more school groups.

Our panel consisted of:

  • Neil Rami - CEO, Marketing Birmingham
  • Michael Roden - Principal, University of Birmingham School
  • Ian Standing - Managing Director, Associated Architects LLP
  • Dr Kiran Trehan - Professor of Leadership and Enterprise Development
  • Jonathan Watkins - Director, Ikon Gallery

The panel presented on the current capital developments, as well as Birmingham's rich cultural heritage and the city's ability to adapt and evolve.  You can watch Professor Roberts' introduction here.  Alumni then had the opportunity to ask questions before having more in-depth conversations with our project champions over drinks.

The event was followed on Twitter and you can catch up with our Storify summary.

You can watch how work on the library is progressing via a web cam and live pictures of the sports centre can be viewed on our website.  

For further details about how to support these campus developments, please visit our Giving pages.