The Exchange (former Municipal Bank), 3 Centenary Square - A Birmingham Gem!

Follow the refurbishment of the former Municipal Bank at Arena Central. University of Birmingham has great plans for this amazing Grade II listed space of such historic importance.

This building and former Municipal Bank is to be home to a diverse range of activities for all community and for people and business across Birmingham.

The Exchange. Artists impression courtesy Glancy Nicholls Architects/University of Birmingham.


What the future has in store for The Exchange!

In the words of its new owners, University of Birmingham:

"The Exchange will be a place for curiosity, celebration, collaboration and change. It will bring together communities to shape the ideas and solutions that will make our cities and regions better places to live, work and learn.

The Exchange. Artists impression courtesy Glancy Nicholls Architects/University of Birmingham.


It will act as the catalyst for a range of city and community-focused research, teaching and engagement activities, including exhibitions, talks, workshops and seminars, as well as providing dedicated facilities for collaboration and co-creation across a number of key themes."

  • Driving regional growth by using data and evidence to support public and private organisations to make better strategic decisions. This will be delivered by WM REDI.
  • Developing the business skills our city needs through our future skills initiative and innovative CPD.
  • Preparing future leaders to succeed in an ever changing workplace.
  • Inspiring communities by engaging and involving the public in research that matters.


The Story so far! 

Located in a prime position in the civic centre of Birmingham next to Centenary Square and of huge historical importance to Birmingham, the Municipal Bank was always going to part of The Big City Plan.  

However before the University of Birmingham got involved in its future, this is how things looked for the former Municipal Bank.

Fast track to February 2021 and we are well into the amazing refurbishment with its future secured!


The refurbishment

The refurbishment works will see a removal of the south elevation facing onto the newly created Bank Court public space. It will be replaced with a new southern extension, with roof canopy and second floor terraces. A newly raised roof light will also be incorporated into the redevelopment.

The Exchange. Artists impressions courtesy Glancy Nicholls Architects/University of Birmingham.

The Bank’s heritage spaces, which include the vaults and the former banking hall, are to be meticulously refurbished and re-opened to the public with events, exhibitions, workshops, performances and a café space.

Glancy Nicholls Architects are the lead architects involved in designing this amazing new space.

Contractor for the works is Galliford Try.

Completion is targeted for 2021.


History of the building

The Birmingham Municipal Bank was located at 301 Broad Street in Birmingham.

The architect was Thomas Cecil Howitt. The foundation stone was laid on the 22nd October 1932 by the Rt Hon Neville Chamberlain MP, at that time Chancellor of the Exchequer. Neville Chamberlain was the first Chairman of the Bank, it was his idea originally and he was principally responsible for its initiation.

The building was opened on the 27 November 1933 by H.R.H. the Prince George. It was built as the headquarters for the Birmingham Municipal Bank. It ceased to be a department of the Council who sold it in 1976, becoming a Trustee Savings Bank. The TSB (later Lloyds TSB) left the building in 2006 selling it back to Birmingham City Council. It has been a Grade II listed building since 1996.

The University of Birmingham completed the purchase of the former bank in November 2017.

Birmingham Municipal Bank

The vault at Birmingham Municipal Bank during Birmingham's Hidden Spaces (September 2015) courtesy of Elliott Brown


For further details and information on The Exchange contact:

Project dates

05 Sep 2019 - On-going


History & heritage, Construction & regeneration, Education
Classic Architecture


(for further information)

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