Published on 03/11/2023
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Aston University celebrates official opening of new city centre HQ and launch of 2030 strategy
L to R: Andy Street, Dame Yve Buckland, Professor Aleks Subic
  • The reception at John Cadbury House brought together more than 70 business leaders and other senior figures from across the city and region
  • The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, was guest speaker at the event
  • Professor Aleks Subic shared the University’s vision and ambitions for the future.

Aston University celebrated the official opening of its new Birmingham city centre headquarters and the launch of its 2030 strategy at a reception at John Cadbury House on Thursday 2 November. 

The event, hosted by the University’s Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Aleks Subic, brought together more than 70 business leaders and other senior figures from across the city and region including guest speaker Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands.

The acquisition of the new HQ building at 190 Corporation Street, named after the founder of the Cadbury business and distinguished Birmingham business leader, is a key part of Aston University’s 2030 strategy, focused on creating an urban university that is integrated within the city centre and which drives city regeneration.

It houses the University’s business and community engagement and alumni relations and development teams, along with a hub for business engagement, enterprise creation and innovation capacity-building.  It also co-locates all the University’s corporate services in one building, as well as hosting the Chancellery and Executive office.

The building was refurbished with financial support from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) which contributed £9.5 million to support the renovation of the historic building.

The Victorian structure now offers more than 46,000 square feet of office, retail and social space and is operationally net zero carbon, powered by 100% green electricity, with LED lighting, VRF air conditioning, electric car charging stations and cycle storage spaces.

Guests at the reception had the opportunity to hear about the University’s vision and ambitions for the years ahead, including plans to establish a world-class innovation district – the new Birmingham Innovation Quarter (B-IQ) – in partnership with Birmingham City Council and Bruntwood SciTech, to evolve as an innovation ecosystem focused on science, technology and enterprise.

They were also able to network with key stakeholders of the University and enjoyed tours of the Business Hub, Enterprise Hub, Alumni Club and Chancellery.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the WMCA, said: “It’s wonderful to be here to help open John Cadbury House - Aston University's new headquarters - epitomising the spirit of innovation and collaboration at the heart of our city's growth story.

“This stunning location - formerly known as the Citadel building and now renamed for a new era as John Cadbury House - has been beautifully refurbished with the support of the West Midlands Combined Authority. 

“It exemplifies our commitment to sustainable development - where we think not just in terms of bricks and mortar but in terms of establishing beacons of hope and opportunity right across our region. 

“I will continue to work closely with Aston University in the months and years ahead - including with regards to their 2030 Strategy with its emphasis on a dynamic and inclusive approach to education, science, and enterprise. John Cadbury House is a testament to the positive role Aston University has played in enriching our city and region. 

“This tremendous urban university shares our ambition to make the West Midlands a better place for all and I’m proud to stand alongside them in this mission.”

Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, said: “For over a century, Aston University's enduring purpose has been to make the world a better place through education, research, and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting the communities we serve to thrive economically, socially, and culturally.  

“Our 2030 strategy defines Aston University as an inclusive, entrepreneurial and transformational university, building on our proud past as UK’s first college of technology, that is taking its rightful place in this Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

“Aston University is proud of its connection to Birmingham and the West Midlands, and our 2030 strategy includes a pledge to further enrich the city and region’s cultural, physical, and socio-economic environment.  

“Our bold presence in the heart of the city’s business district helps to realise this strategy and enable Aston University to become a thriving urban university, integrated seamlessly in the city centre, a key driver of city regeneration and a trusted partner for alumni, businesses, and the community.”

Notes to editors

About Aston University
For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming The Guardian University of the Year in 2020.

Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sue Smith, head of press and communications, on (+44) 7816 788663 or email  


Sue Smith,
Head of Press and Communications


Sam Cook,
Press and Communications Manager


Nicola Jones,
Press and Communications Manager


Helen Tunnicliffe,
Press and Communications Manager


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