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What's the point?

The impressive new symbol of Birmingham's soaring educational ambitions - the pound;114m centre known as Millennium Point - opens this September and is expected to create 3,000 jobs on top of the 1,000 people employed to build it. The site is the size of six international football pitches and the building contains 3.5 acres of glass.

The building will house the University of the First Age, an informal campus started by Tim Brighouse, Birmingham's chief education officer, to advance the learning of pupils of all abilities aged 11 to 14.

There is also the Young People's Parliament, which can seat up to 200, will meet twice a week and will include debates on current affairs with local MPs, MEPs and councillors, as wll as regular meetings of the Young People's Parliament council.

One issue that people under 21 will have a direct voice on immediately is health. The local health authority is anxious to incorporate young people's ideas into its plans for future services.

The Discovery Centre will house interactive exhibits showing how science and technology past and present have affected people's lives.

And the Technology Innovation Centre aims to create opportunities for people of all ages via a combination of enterprise and technology, its links with the University of Central England and local industry.

In addition, there is The Hub, the commercial centre which houses shopping and leisure facilities.

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