The Exchange: A Symbol of Birmingham’s Past and Present

The Exchange, a Grade II listed building in Birmingham’s Centenary Square, stands as a testament to the city’s rich heritage and its vibrant future. Originally opened in 1933, the handsome structure served as the headquarters of the Birmingham Municipal Bank, and then TSB, until 2006. In 2017, the University of Birmingham acquired the building and embarked on an ambitious refurbishment and expansion project, transforming it into a stylish city-centre-based campus.


A Legacy of Innovation

The Exchange’s origins can be traced back to the early 20th century when Birmingham experienced a surge in economic growth. To accommodate the city’s expanding financial sector, the Birmingham Corporation commissioned the construction of a new municipal bank. Designed by architects Sir Herbert Humphries and Arthur J. Brock, the Exchange was built in the Neo-Classical style, echoing the grandeur of Birmingham’s other civic buildings.

Beyond its architectural significance, the Exchange played a pivotal role in Birmingham’s financial landscape. The bank’s innovative approach to lending and its commitment to supporting local businesses contributed to the city’s prosperity. The Exchange became a symbol of Birmingham’s entrepreneurial spirit and its place at the forefront of financial innovation.

A Transformation for the Future

In 2017, the University of Birmingham recognised the Exchange’s potential as a hub for learning, innovation, and community engagement. With a vision to revitalise the historic building while preserving its architectural integrity, the university embarked on a comprehensive refurbishment and expansion project.

Recognising Architectural Excellence

The Exchange’s refurbishment has garnered critical acclaim, earning two prestigious awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA): the RIBA West Midlands Award 2023 and the RIBA West Midlands Conservation Award 2023.

The RIBA Jury commended the project for its “sensitive restoration” and its “successful integration of new elements with the historic fabric.” The jury noted that the Exchange “sets a benchmark for the thoughtful reuse of heritage buildings.”

CLS Total Solutions: A Partner in Birmingham’s Transformation

CLS Total Solutions played a key role in the Exchange’s refurbishment, providing the full electrical installation for the project on behalf of their client NG Bailey. The company’s expertise and commitment to quality were instrumental in bringing the university’s vision to life.

CLS Total Solutions’ involvement with the Exchange is not limited to this recent project. In 2013, the company provided the electrical installation for the Library of Birmingham, another iconic landmark in Centenary Square. CLS Total Solutions’ work on both projects demonstrates its commitment to Birmingham’s regeneration and its ability to deliver complex and demanding electrical installations.


About CLS Total Solutions

With over a decade of experience in the electrical contracting industry, CLS Total Solutions has established itself as a trusted partner for projects of all sizes and complexities. Our commitment to quality, collaboration, and innovation has been instrumental in delivering exceptional results for our clients, as exemplified by our involvement in landmark projects like the Exchange Building and Project Apple.

Beyond our flagship projects, we have a proven track record of success in diverse settings, from residential apartment buildings and gyms to retail stores. Our versatility and expertise are thanks to our team of skilled and experienced electricians, who consistently demonstrate a meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to exceeding expectations.

Whether you’re embarking on a new construction project, seeking to upgrade your existing electrical infrastructure, or require ongoing maintenance services, CLS Total Solutions is your one-stop solution. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of service and delivering projects on time and within budget.


Contact us today at 0121 647 2127 or 07791 697060 to discuss your project requirements.