Any last lingering hopes that the new Library of Birmingham might be built at Eastside disappeared last night.
Members of the city council cabinet agreed to open formal discussions to sell part of the site once earmarked for a £180 million library by the award-winning architect Lord Richard Rogers to the University of Central England.
If the deal goes through, UCE will use the land to re-locate the Conservatoire and the Institute of Art and Design from the city centre to East-side. A new lending and reference library is to be built at Centenary Square.
Yesterday's decision to use the five-acre Eastside site for educational buildings, rather than a mixed-use scheme, means that the council will have to pay back European Regional Development Fund grant worth £1.8 million.
Cabinet regeneration member Ken Hardeman (Con Brandwood) said: "We have brought together a scheme with UCE that will enable us not only to get value from that site but also to develop our wider aspirations to turn Eastside into an educational quarter."