The complex was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on July 2, 2002.
Millennium Point is a Millennium Commission project, and was designed by Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners. Construction is estimated to have cost £114 million, and £50 million funding was granted by the National Lottery.
The building is constructed mainly as a cuboid, with a cylindrical offshoot holding the IMAX cinema. This annexe glows different colours at night. The front fascia is mainly glass, and is covered in long slats with the logo of Millennium Point revealed behind.
The purpose of the complex is primarily educational; and as such is home to the Birmingham Thinktank Science Museum. The largest tenant of the building is currently the Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment (formerly Technology Innovation Centre) - the technology faculty of Birmingham City University. The university also operates the Birmingham School of Acting on site. Faculties of Matthew Boulton College, the University of the First Age and the Young People's Parliament are located in smaller units.
A major attraction to Millennium Point is the Birmingham IMAX cinema, which extends into the complex's atrium (known as the "hub"). Facilities that complement the cinema (and surrounding businesses) include a licensed bar and a café.
Millennium Point is the location of Birmingham's annual "Christmas Lights Switch On" event. The 2008 event saw fairground rides and live music, including performances by Alesha Dixon, Alphabeat and Scouting for Girls, with Lemar switching on the lights. Previous events have hosted sets by Leona Lewis and McFly.
In 2009, the Christmas Lights Switch-On was cancelled over safety concerns. Larger than expected numbers turned up and were locked out of the event due to overcrowding. Subsequently, the locked out crowd broke down the fencing causing a stampede, leaving dozens injured and the event cancelled.
In May 2006, the atrium of the building was used to host a theatrical extravaganza From Ithaca With Love, a modern retelling of Homer’s The Odyssey, which was the launch event of the New Generation Arts Festival. Produced by Simon M Woods and adapted and directed by Malachi Bogdanov the event required the blacking out the roof and windows and incorporated both a speed boat and Lotus car.
In June 2006 the front car park was converted into a viewing area for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. On 19 July, the screen was strengthened to withstand strong winds but eventually collapsed. Subsequent games were shown on a smaller, temporary screen.
At around the same time, and over a period of two days, 20,107 people drew around their feet on A4 pieces of paper and placed them outside Millennium Point to create the longest display of footprints.
In 2008, Millennium Point became the home of the Hello Digital arts festival. The focus on the festival was interactive multimedia, and numerous performances of the Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre were held.
In 2004 glass panels fell off the front of the building . This resulted in green webbing and metal barriers being placed around one half of the building while investigations took place. The unsightly webbing stretched the full height of the building and remained in place for some time. You can see the metal barriers in the first picture on this page, though the webbing had been removed by the time the picture was taken.
Millennium Point is set to become the "hub" of the Ventureast development. The front car park will be transformed in to the City Park and a replacement multi storey car park will be built to the rear of the building fronting Jennens Road. The area at the side used as a car park will be built on as part of the development and the area immediately behind the building will be turned into a social square known as "Exchange Square".