Birmingham City University Joseph Priestley Building

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Birmingham City University Joseph Priestley Building

Birmingham City University has officially unveiled its latest building, named in honour of scientist and theorist Joseph Priestley.

Situated on the University’s City Centre Campus in Birmingham’s Eastside, The Joseph Priestley Building is home to around 400 staff from the institution’s support services.

The four-storey building comprises of 45,500 sq ft of Grade A office space and has been leased to the University from global property group Goodman. The transfer marks the completion of the first phase of the developer’s 1.25 million sq ft canal side regeneration scheme, Eastside Locks.

Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestley lived in Birmingham for over 10 years during the 18th Century, where he was an active member of the Lunar Society circle of manufacturers and inventors. His educational theory aimed to move students away from classical learning towards a more modern, practical curriculum.

The building was officially opened on Wednesday 2 November by Lord Lansdowne, Charles Maurice Petty-Fitzmaurice, 9th Marquess of Lansdowne. His home is Bowood House in Wiltshire, which includes the preserved laboratory where in 1774, Joseph Priestley, then tutor to the 1st Marquess’ two sons, discovered oxygen.

He said:

”Thank you so much for inviting me to open this new building.  It is a real privilege to be here this morning.

Joseph Priestly

The Lunar Society celebrates its 250th anniversary this year and Chair of its modern incarnation, Alan Wenban-Smith, also addressed invited guests at the launch.

Professor Graham Henderson, Acting Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, added:

“This new Building forms part of our ongoing investment in developing our City Centre Campus and provides a wonderful new home to members of our professional services staff.