Progress on the redevelopment of Alexander Stadium is on the brink of another significant milestone - the completion of the steelworks.
Early next week the framework for the eye-catching new West Stand at the venue in Perry Barr will be fully in place, and work to add fixtures, fittings and all of the features required by a world-class sporting arena is now starting.
The project, part funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), is on budget and scheduled for completion in spring 2022.
Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is an exciting milestone and it's testament to the hard work and efforts of all involved that we have made such progress despite the challenges of delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We can now clearly see what the new stadium will look like when complete – congratulations to everyone who is working on the redevelopment.”
Funding for the Alexander Stadium Redevelopment comes from three sources: Birmingham City Council (£27.4million), the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (£20million) and WMCA (£25million).
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who chairs the WMCA said: “It’s fantastic to see the rapid progress being made as we build a new sporting arena the whole region can be proud of – one fit to host the world’s leading athletes for years to come.
“But far more importantly the stadium is also playing a major role right now for people’s livelihoods by supporting vital construction jobs and apprenticeships both on site and in the wider business supply chain.
“Making the most of projects like this is absolutely critical to my Mayoral plan to get 100,000 people into work within two years.”
The project is on budget and scheduled for completion in spring 2022.
Martin Keys, Operations Director for lead contractor McLaughlin & Harvey, added: “This is a really important milestone for the Alexander Stadium Redevelopment project.
“Considering the challenges of COVID-19, the complex roof design, and erecting the steel over the winter months; we have been able to complete the steel on programme. It is a really exciting moment for the project and demonstrates that when we work collaboratively together as a team we can overcome difficult obstacles.”
Arup are designers for the Alexander Stadium redevelopment, covering all engineering services and architectural design, with Mace acting as project and programme managers, both appointed by Birmingham City Council.
James Watts, Associate Director at Arup, said: “Reaching this milestone is a fantastic achievement for all involved. It has been a true demonstration of proactive and collaborative working.
“Within Arup alone, our team of architects, engineers, planners and specialists have contributed more than 37 years of effort so far to help deliver what will be a wonderful sporting facility for Birmingham.
“With the steel frame now virtually completed, the curvature of the new stand that will become the stadium’s signature is visible for all.
“The 1,400 tonnes of steelwork has been designed, detailed and fabricated in the UK, with police escorts required for the longest components of the roof structure, which are 35 metres in length. If laid end-to-end, the steelwork would very nearly complete 50 laps of the new track!
“There is still a long way to go, but all involved should be proud of what has been achieved to date.”
Paul Robertson, Associate Director at Mace, said: “Celebrating the final piece of steel being installed is exciting for a project which has not been without its challenges.
“This time last year we were facing the prospect of starting construction in the middle of a pandemic yet works continue on time and on budget as we move towards the 12-month on-site milestone in May this year. The team partnership and approach has been exceptional, and everyone is pulling together as we move into this next critical phase of the project.”
Chair of GBSLEP Tim Pile added: “The completion of the steelworks is a magnificent milestone in the redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium. Our investment of £20 million from the Local Growth Fund to Birmingham City Council’s build is enabling the development of a world-class destination for sportspeople.
“Crucially, this project is a catalyst for economic growth in Perry Barr and north-west Birmingham. It’s creating much needed jobs and business opportunities."
“GBSLEP exists to drive inclusive economic growth in the West Midlands and this project is a perfect example of how we work with our public, private and academic sectors to look at the bigger picture when it comes to capital investment.
“As well as economic growth, the new stadium will increase the health and wellbeing of people in the area as we strive to create better places for all of us to live and work in.”