Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute at Aston University - A Birmingham Gem!

Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute, also called EBRI was originally the Delicia Cinema in the Gosta Green area of Birmingham. It was converted in early 2010s.

Where is the EBRI?

EBRI is at Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET


In brief

The building opened as the Delicia Cinema in 1923, next to the Sacks of Potatoes pub in Gosta Green, Birmingham. After the war the cinema closed and was taken over by the BBC as television studios until they moved to Pebble Mill in 1971. Aston University took over the building, later housing the Birmingham Arts Lab in 1976. Various other uses until it was a Dillons (later Waterstones) bookstore. The building was empty from 2003, but was converted into the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute in the 2010s. Only the facade of the cinema survives.

EBRIEBRI at Aston University (January 2023). Photography by Elliott Brown


Delicia Cinema - history

The Delicia Cinema opened at Gosta Green in Birmingham, near Woodcock Street on the 5th November 1923, at the time the neighbourhood wa back to back housing.

After the Second World War, the area was cleared of housing and replaced by what would become Aston University.

The cinema was closed and taken over by the BBC who used it as television studios, until they moved to Pebble Mill in 1971.

In the 1970s, Aston University took over the empty building and used it as an arts centre, later housing the Birmingham Arts Lab in 1976.

By February 1983 it was the Triangle Arts Centre.

At some time the main auditorium of the former Delicia Cinema was demolished leaving the distinct frontage.

Later Dillons (later Waterstones) opened a bookstore in the frontage in the 1990s.

By 2003 the building was empty, and it was to be redeveloped as a waste-fuelled power plant.

But it was taken over by Aston University who converted it into the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI).
The front of the Delicia Cinema building survives to this day.

EBRIEBRI at Aston University (January 2011). Photography by Elliott Brown


The EBRI was built sometime between 2012 and 2014.

EBRIEBRI at Aston University (March 2014). Photography by Elliott Brown


The EBRI was close to the old Aston Students Union, until it moved to the other side of the campus in 2019 (the old ASU was demolished by 2020).

EBRIEBRI at Aston University (February 2018). Photography by Elliott Brown


EBRI - details

As it states on their website:

The Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute at Aston University carries out world-leading research into new and innovative ways of converting biomass into sources of sustainable energy, using thermochemical, biological and catalytic processes.

Achieving an affordable, resilient and low carbon energy future is essential, and we aim to use sustainable resources to make this a reality. The processes we develop will contribute to making a net-zero carbon economy possible, while allowing traditional manufacturing sources of fuels, chemicals and materials to be replaced with cleaner and safer alternatives.

We engage with colleagues nationally and internationally on supply chains, business models, policy, regulation and system performance.

As the world strives to meet ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change, the Energy and Bioproduct Research Institute is:

  • Exploring the science behind new, more efficient thermochemical, biological and catalytic means of converting biomass and waste feedstocks into valuable products.
  • Providing education and training to share new knowledge and processes around bioenergy, engineering, and experience in upscaling. It also offers research-backed insights into the environmental, economic, social and policy challenges that need to be overcome in the transition to an affordable, resilient, low-carbon energy future.
  • Working collaboratively with businesses and professions to help deploy the sustainable supply chains, technical know-how and financial advice needed to make renewable biofuels that will benefit everybody.
  • Funding and developing technologies that help to meet sustainable development goals in low- and middle-income countries.


Contact details


Aston University

Aston Triangle


B4 7ET

0121 204 3000

Project dates

09 Jan 2023 - On-going


History & heritage, Education, Classic Architecture


Your Place Your Space

Jonathan Bostock

0121 410 5520