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Royal Visitors support STEM studies at Millennium Point Birmingham

HRH Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle paid a visit to Millennium Point, Birmingham for a major symposium that coincided with International Women’s Day.

The 46,450sqm landmark venue, which hosts conferences and exhibitions mostly linked to science, engineering and technology topics, was selected as host location for the event in conjunction with STEMettes, the award-winning social initiative.

Millennium Point brought together 90 female students from secondary schools to inspire women to work in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Female leaders in their STEM fields told their life-stories to students as part of an ongoing initiative to relieve a major skills shortage facing manufacturing and technology businesses by attracting more women into STEM.

In their first visit to Birmingham, Prince Harry and Ms Markle spoke extensively to the young women from secondary schools in the Midlands, as they used Millennium Point’s Platform and Auditorium, with its 120m screen.

The Prince and Ms Markle freely mixed with the students and took part in building apps and touchpads, before hearing more about their motivations to pursue STEM subjects. 

“They were very friendly and wanted to know what we wanted to do – and very encouraging,” said one student who said that Prince Harry was interested in VR technology.

Rebecca Delmore, commercial director at Millennium Point, said that with the building having been opened by HM The Queen, they were used to hosting prestigious visits, but the media interest in the symposium and visit – which also used the extensive space outside Millennium Point fronting Eastside Park – demonstrated the venue’s flexibility.

“Enabling the students, their teachers and industry representatives to have access, whilst also ensuring three other events in the building could continue as normal, alongside providing a secure environment, were key considerations,” said Delmore.

Commercial activities at the venue enable Millennium Point Trust to donate more than £4m to organisations, projects and initiatives that support access to STEM-related education including working with Birmingham City University's Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment to offer a free undergraduate STEM degree. The Millennium Point scholarship is now in its fourth year.