EN heads to Birmingham to check out a venue business in the heart of the city that gives out millions to STEM-related causes.
While Millennium Point has existed as a MICE venue for only a matter of months, the Millennium Point building was first opened almost two decades ago following – you guessed it – the turn of the millennium.
The Millennium Point building was part of a series of building projects across the UK celebrating the millennium, driven by the government and partly National Lottery funded, which include the Millennium Dome, the Millennium Wheel (a.k.a. the London Eye), the Millennium Bridge and the Tate Modern.
It now stands as the largest landmark millennium project in England outside of the capital and is owned by the Millennium Point Charitable Trust, which funnels profits back into supporting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related projects, initiatives, organisations and individuals across the West Midlands.
“Last year we donated £4.8m back into the West Midlands, which is considerable in one year,” Commercial director Rebecca Delmore tells EN. “We just ran out scholarship programme, which is where we pay for someone to have a STEM degree.”
The building is home to, among others, ThinkTank (Birmingham’s Science Museum) and Birmingham City University, and at one point an IMAX screen cinema.
The world of cinema’s loss is the event industry’s gain, will the 350-seater auditorium now open to organisers, complete with the giant IMAX screen still in place. It’s one of several event spaces on offer at the venue, which included smaller meeting suites, several larger open plan spaces and two exterior spaces for outdoor fairs and launches.
“We’ve launched the events business because we want to raise as much income as we possibly can to invest back into the building and give to our charitable trust,” explains Delmore. “Everything we do is for not-for-profit, which is why we get an awful lot of STEM business users. People can approach us for a donation, we would look at the criteria and they could be considered for funding.
“It’s one of our USPs, because it’s unusual for somewhere in the city to able to have a nice story behind them.”
Millennium Point has the benefit of not only being within walking distance of Birmingham’s main train stations but also the platform of the upcoming HS2 trainline.
The aim for the venue at the moment, concludes Delmore, is getting the word out to event organisers in Birmingham and further afield.
“We’re still very new, so a lot of people can see our building and not know what it is. They know it’s an iconic building and there have been some famous tenants, but they don’t know that we have an amazing events space. That’s really something we’re trying to educate people about. The more they support us, the more we can help schools in the West Midlands.”