The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has approved a £25m (€29.2m/$32.1m) contribution to the redevelopment of Alexander Stadium, with its funding to account for over a third of the total cost of delivering the centrepiece of Birmingham’s staging of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The WMCA Board has agreed the funding request towards the £72.5m cost of creating an enduring legacy to the English city’s hosting of the multi-sport event, which aims to act as a catalyst for the regeneration of Perry Barr and the wider West Midlands region.
The new-look stadium, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies along with the athletics competition, will see its permanent capacity increased from 12,700 to 17,000. It will also feature a 400m, six-lane running track and during the Games temporary structures will be added to create a total capacity of more than 30,000 seats.
Deborah Cadman, WMCA chief executive, said: “Our fundamental role is to provide opportunities for economic growth, job creation, an enhanced environment and improved wellbeing for our citizens across the region.
“The redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium fits firmly with our objectives and along with other schemes, including the Athletes’ Village and the Sprint rapid bus network, will kick start the further regeneration of Perry Barr to improve the quality of life of people living and working in the area. The stadium is a key facility for ensuring the success of the Games, which will bring broader investment providing a wider West Midlands’ legacy.”
An agreement has already been made for Birmingham City University to become an anchor tenant of Alexander Stadium after the Games, as part of the legacy plans. It was revealed last month that redevelopment work is set to commence in the spring of 2020, after proposals to revamp the venue were submitted to Birmingham City Council.
The proposals have been entered to the Council’s planning department for consideration. It is anticipated a final decision will be taken on the proposals in early 2020. Subject to planning approval, the Council said construction of the new western stand, which will replace the Main, Knowles and Nelson stands, will commence in spring 2020, with completion in late 2021 ahead of test events for the Games.