Birmingham City Council

Digbeth Institute 1908

Digbeth Institute 1908

The Digbeth Institute building was opened officially on Thursday 16th January 1908 as an institutional church attached to the Carr's Lane Congregational Church. The Architect for the building was Arthur Harrison. The building was officially opened by Mrs Jowett, wife of the Pastor of Carrs Lane Church. The dedication ceremony was then carried out by Rev. J.H. Jowett at 3.30pm that day, in attendance were local dignitaries, Councillor H.J. Sayer (the Lord Mayor of Birmingham), various Reverends, members of the city's Building Committee and other invited guests.

In the first week of opening a number of events were planned, beginning the same day as the dedication. There followed guided tours of the building for children and adults, a Grand Miscellaneous Concert, a bioscope exhibition (A Bioscope show was a fairground attaction consisting of a travelling cinema. The heyday of the Bioscope was from the late 1890s until World War I). The building was also used for regular school classes and meetings by various societies.

In 1954, the Institute building was put up for sale by the trustees as it was felt that it was no longer worth carrying on the activities for which it was established. This was largely because the area had changed from a residential to a business one.

The Institute was purchased in April 1955, by the City Council for 5,000 and used as a civic hall for letting purposes.

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