Design & Development

Council to discuss £21m legacy plan for Alexander Stadium

Featured image credit: Arconning/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet will convene next week to discuss legacy plans for the renovated Alexander Stadium and surrounding parkland following the recent Commonwealth Games in the city.

The full business case for the £21m (€24.1m/$23.9m) of legacy developments aligns with the wider Perry Barr 2040 masterplan, which was formally approved earlier this year.

A report to Cabinet members describes Alexander Stadium and Perry Park as being “at the heart” of the area’s regeneration, which is seeing more than £750m being invested in new homes, improved highways and public transport links as well as the delivery of community facilities and infrastructure.

Alexander Stadium served as the centrepiece of the Commonwealth Games, which took place from July 28 to August 8. The venue underwent a £72m revamp to make it Games-ready, with its permanent capacity increasing from 12,700 to 18,000.

Temporary seating meant that the stadium could host up to 30,000 spectators during the Games. The renovation project was overseen by the council, with the Birmingham 2022 organising committee taking up tenancy ahead of the Games.

Alexander Stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies at the Games, as well as all of the athletics and para-athletics events. The stadium’s temporary overlay is currently being removed to leave a legacy facility that will serve as a focal point for sport, health, wellbeing and community activity in the local area.

Access to high-quality facilities for sport and recreation has been cited as an important aspect of the future vision for the local area. This will be realised via the full business case through extended and enhanced gym and leisure facilities at the stadium, a new visitor centre and café in Perry Park, new physical activity installations/external play facilities for all ages in the park, and the delivery of new pathways and cycle routes.

The council is also working with Birmingham City University, a tenant for the revamped stadium, and other future tenants. If approved, the programme of works within the full business case will be carried out in phases that will be completed between early 2023 and spring 2024.

Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium was always about much more than the eleven days of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games sport, which were so glorious and memorable.

“Through these proposals, we have an investment programme that will ensure the venue and its surrounds have a broad range of uses for everyone from the people of Perry Barr to students to elite sports performers.

“The old Alexander Stadium struggled to have a meaningful year-round purpose – but our legacy from this redevelopment is to address that shortcoming and for Birmingham to be home to the premier athletics facility in the UK.”

The council and Warwickshire County Cricket Club recently launched a bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund for a new masterplan to transform Edgbaston Stadium, another Commonwealth Games venue, into a mixed-use destination.

The masterplan includes support for the surrounding community and ties in with legacy plans for the Games. The renewed Edgbaston would combine elite sport, conferencing and events with community assets to improve health and social care, education and employment, and social cohesion in the area.