Birmingham City Council has commenced the search for a contractor to deliver the main stadium for the 2022 Commonwealth Games as construction work started today (Wednesday) on the largest infrastructure project directly related to the multi-sport event.

The design and construction contract for the overhaul of Alexander Stadium is expected to be worth £63m (€73.2m/$81.9m) with proposals via prequalification questionnaires accepted through to June 7.

The redevelopment will include expanding the 43-year-old venue’s capacity from 12,700 to 40,000, with 20,000 of these seats to be retained after the Games. The project will establish Alexander Stadium as the largest UK athletics venue outside of London. Other planned improvements include the addition of new community sports facilities, a permanent warm-up track and a new conference meeting space.

Alexander Stadium will act as the centrepiece of the 2022 Games, hosting both the opening and closing ceremonies as well as athletics events. A soon-to-be-published masterplan will outline full details of the ambition to provide a Games legacy of a host of community, leisure and sport facilities.

Meanwhile, a ground-breaking ceremony was staged today at the Commonwealth Games Village site in Perry Barr, which will provide a home away from home for around 6,500 athletes and officials coming to the city in the summer of 2022.

The construction work for this residential element of the village, built on the site of the former Birmingham City University campus, is due for completion in early 2022. Planning permission was unanimously granted for the £520m scheme by Birmingham City Council’s Planning Committee back in December.

In recognition of the importance of the scheme as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of Perry Barr, financial support towards the overall cost has been secured for the council-led scheme from central government (£165m) and the West Midlands Combined Authority (£20m).

Post-Games, the development will be converted into more than 1,400 homes for the people of Birmingham, the first phase of a long-term regeneration plan for Perry Barr and surrounding areas that will provide 5,000 homes.

As part of the wider regeneration of Perry Barr, the village will sit in legacy mode alongside improved open space, a redeveloped Alexander Stadium and related community, sport and leisure facilities.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform an area of Birmingham that has long needed investment, so I am hugely proud that the biggest sporting event in the city’s history will act as a catalyst for the development of a new high-quality residential neighbourhood.

“Perry Barr will provide a magnificent base for athletes in the summer of 2022 – and then go on to provide a genuine long-term Commonwealth Games legacy, by helping house the people of Birmingham in high-quality homes.”

Image: Birmingham 2022