Almost 10 years after it opened, Millennium Point continues to present a lonely image at the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside regeneration zone.
A claim by the city council that this modern steel and glass-clad structure would act as a catalyst by attracting wealthy private sector investment into the area has not been delivered, for a variety of reasons.
Most of what has taken place at Eastside is the result of public sector investment. With huge Government and council spending cuts on the horizon, Eastside’s future progress relies largely on the private sector putting its hands in its pockets.
The importance to Birmingham of opening up a severely constrained city centre by expanding into Eastide cannot be overestimated. Even with the economy in trouble, we must hope for more progress in the next 10 years.
There may be a ray of hope if the planned high speed rail terminus is ever built at Curzon Street. While some of the wilder predictions about the value this project are hard to swallow, examples elsewhere in the country show that economic regneration usually occurs close to new railway stations.
As for Millennium Point, it is becoming increasingly popular with a variety of tenants, even if the building does seem destined to remain in splendid isolation for the time being.