The University of Westminster’s Regent Street HQ in the heart of London’s West End lays claim to a number of historical firsts.
Not only is the flagship address the home of what started life as the UK’s first polytechnic; it also hosted the world’s first photography school; the first demonstration of the Lumiere brother’s Cinematograph; and is acknowledged as the birthplace of cinema in the UK. Film has long played an important role in raising cultural awareness of course – and the University itself is renowned for promoting internationalism and diversity. This is why we supported the recent restoration of the Grade II listed entrance with a grant of £1 million.
The MBI Al Jaber Grand Hall opened in March 2012 – the 100th anniversary of the reconstruction of the building’s existing façade. It is part of a wider £5 million renovation to restore the adjoining cinema to working use for the first time since 1980. On completion we plan to host a Middle East Film Series showcasing the region’s talent to audiences in the UK.