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Millennium Point Birthday Countdown : Stories from 2014/2015

Posted on Tuesday June 16, 2020

With our 18th birthday on the horizon, we are taking a look back at some notable events and highlights over the years so far. Millennium Point was conceived in 1999 as the catalyst for the regeneration of the Eastside of Birmingham city centre. It was opened officially on 2nd July 2002 by HRH Queen Elizabeth II, and today is the last remaining Millennium Project remaining outside of London. Our nature as a public building, commercial events venue and charitable trust means that our building means a lot to many different people for a variety of different reasons and various times within the almost two decades of our existence.

This week we are looking at the inception of the Young Innovator Prize – what has become known today as our annual Millennium Point Trust Scholarship competition – and the closure of the renowned Giant Screen Cinema.

2014 – Millennium Point Launched the Young Innovator Prize (Millennium Point Scholarship)
Today, we’re delighted to see that there is a significant emphasis made by the government and local authorities on skills pertaining to roles in science, technology, engineering and maths (known collectively as ‘STEM’) both in education and in business (although there is still a long way to go in bridging the STEM skills gap and addressing wider issues such as inequality and diversity). Back in the early 2010s, however, this was not the case. 

In 2014, Millennium Point’s Charitable Trust arm partnered with our tenants, Birmingham City University, to launch the Young Innovator Prize. This initiative was designed to encourage young people to consider careers in STEM by offering one lucky winner a fully funded undergraduate degree at Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment. A call was put out to school leavers across the West Midlands region and six young hopefuls were selected to compete in a live final of the competition the following March. The launch event took place in our Atrium space in December 2014, where our then CEO Philip Singleton announced the competition alongside (then) Dean of BCU’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment and engineer and popular BBC Presenter Kate Bellingham, known for presenting the BBC 1 Tomorrow’s World.

(L – R) Mel Lees, Kate Bullingham and Philip Singleton at the launch of the inaugrual Young Innovator Prize

The first final was hosted by popular comedian, writer and broadcaster Robin Ince and saw then 17-year old Malik Sheryar-Karamat from Ark St Alban’s claim the sponsorship prize.

Then 17-year old Malik Sheryar-Karamat from Ark St Alban’s claim the sponsorship prize.

Malik graduated with 1st Class Honours in Mechanical Engineering in 2018.

In 2017, the Young Innovator Prize was overhauled to what it’s known today as the Millennium Point Scholarship. This overhaul was part of a wider refresh that the Millennium Point Charitable Trust was undergoing in order to increase the visibility and impact of the charity’s contributions back into the West Midlands region. The scholarship is still running today, with the most recent winner, 28-year old Shennice Talburt, being crowned back in March this year.

Scholarship 2020 Finalists (From Left to Right) Kallum Wright, Chloe Copeland, Shennice Talburt, Lauren Davies, Amber Kelsey.

The competition will open again from September for students looking to study at Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

2015 – The Last Performance at Millennium Point’s Giant Screen Cinema.

In our 2010/2011 Birthday blog, we talked about the transition from IMAX to the Giant Screen before alluding to its subsequent closure.

The foyer of the Giant Screen Cinema.

Following a great 14-year-long run, The Giant Screen Cinema’s time at Millennium Point was drawing to a close, and what better way to say goodbye than with one last epic movie night?

The movie chosen for the final performance was from the world famous fantasy film series and the second-highest-grossing film of 2014 – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. With the incredible sound quality and a 70ft x 41ft cinema screen, over 100 people were able to sit and enjoyed the show. 

The Giant Screen Cinema as seen from the outside of Millennium Point

Both iterations of the cinema as an IMAX and the Giant Screen is something that was close to the hearts of Brummies and something that many will still reference today. Unfortunately, the closure was a sign of the times with increased competition and a rapid decline in attendance, it was no longer sustainable for the charitable trust to uphold. Their legacy lives on, however, in the Millennium Point you have come to know today.

The foyer of the Giant Screen Cinema in 2014. This is now our event space Platform.

The foyer of the cinema on level 1 was transformed into the flexible open plan event space Platform. This space features an in-situ, fully licenced bar and slick audio-visual equipment including multiple HD repeater screens and PA system.

Platform is available for hire for events

The installation of a new white screen and 4K digital projector means that the former cinema, now known as the Auditorium, is still a key attraction for client events held at our multi-award winning venue.  To this day, the quality of the auditorium remains outstanding and has become the home for major events in the region such as the Birmingham Film Festival and VSFighting.

Our Auditorium is the home of several major events including Birmingham Film Festival and can be hired now

The Auditorium is available for hire right now suitable for a wide range of great events from film screenings to product launches and live performances. Find out more by visiting the dedicated page or getting in contact with our friendly events team on 0121 202 2200 or events@millenniumpoint.org.uk

Concerned about hosting events? Read Millennium Point’s Client Protection Plan which outlines everything we are doing to ensure the safety and well being of your people and ours to prevent the spread of coronavirus when delivering events in our building.


Find more interesting content from Millennium Point over at our news section, or follow us for daily updates on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn with @MillenniumPoint.

Millennium Point is a landmark public building and multi-award-winning events venue in the Eastside of Birmingham City centre. Profits from our commercial activity are invested by the Millennium Point Charitable Trust into projects, events and initiatives which support the growth of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and education in the West Midlands.