Historic Bank Earmarked for New Lease of Life

The grade II-listed former bank at 301 Broad Street

A grade II-listed former bank on Birmingham's Broad Street that was originally founded to raise money for World War I has been earmarked for a museum, business engagement hub and performance space, new documents seen by Insider have revealed.

The building at 301 Broad Street lies opposite Centenary Square and is surrounded by the landmark Arena Central development. It was established in 1916 by the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank and subsequently became the first and only municipal bank in the country.

At a Birmingham City Council cabinet meeting next week (15 November 2016), the local authority will debate whether to declare 301 Broad Street as "surplus to requirements" in order to open negotiations with the University of Birmingham.

The university has put forward a business case to transform the property into a "gateway" for the institution in the city centre.

Under the plans, the former bank will host university research showcases, a museum, community hub and a performance space. It will also provide a place for the University of Birmingham to engage with the city's corporates and tech partners.

The disposal has been recommended for approval ahead of the meeting and council officers warned that rejecting the move will lead to continued repair and maintenance costs for the building, as well as costs associated with managing an empty building.  

A statement from council officers said: "Given its architectural merit and history, the proposed use by the University of Birmingham provides the necessary reassurance that the building will be subject to appropriate restoration programmes."

Article taken from Insider Media Limited.