NIA refurb plans announced

By on 11/10/2011 in News

Plans for a major refurbishment of the National Indoor Arena (NIA) which will see a significant modernisation of facilities for both the public and performers, have been revealed by Leader of Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby, in his annual ’State of the City speech’ to full council today.

The proposals are set to be discussed further at a meeting of Birmingham City Council's Cabinet on Monday (17th October).

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This major investment in the NIA, one of the crown jewels in our sporting and events offering, is fundamental to our ambition to remain a world-class sports and events destination.

“The initial investment in the NIA in 1991 was a clear statement by Birmingham about re-balancing our economy, and providing a new offer around visitors and events. Today we are clearly re-stating our ambition - and investing in the future of our city.

“As outlined in the Big City Plan, the works will also enhance the area around the arena further boosting regeneration, growth and the attraction of a key part of the city which is visited by thousands of people from the city, and beyond, every day.”

The improvement work, set to cost £20.6m, is seen as key to securing the continuing long term success of a venue which already generates an estimated £150m in economic benefit to the region each year, and supports around 2,500 jobs in the wider economy.

The development work, the first major works at the NIA since it was built in 1991, follow dramatic improvements to both the venue and subsequent visitor experience at the LG Arena over recent years.

The initial cost of the works will be funded through Prudential Borrowing, with the costs recouped from ongoing revenues, which come back to the City Council.

Phil Mead, Managing Director of NEC Group Arenas commented

“The aim of the redevelopment programme is to make the NIA more accessible, both visually and physically, taking advantage of its key canal-side location. Creating a sense of arrival is key, with the possibility of a brand new entrance overlooking the canal at Brindleyplace.

“Improving the customer experience pre and post-show are also top of the agenda, with a totally new look and feel to the concourse and a superior hospitality offering, giving visitors more choice for food, beverage and merchandising. “

“These tremendous development plans will add strength to the City’s vision of regeneration and enable it to become the envy of its competitors; making it a 'must stop' for all performers and artists, and the preferred UK arena of choice for visitors. Overall, supporting its great tradition and success in continuing to attract the world's leading indoor sports events, concerts and live shows.”

If approved works are expected to begin late in 2012.

ENDS

For more information please contact Simon Houltby 0121 303 3503

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