Commonwealth Games Village to provide housing legacy
The transformation of north-west Birmingham will be significantly accelerated thanks to the housing legacy from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The Games Village, which comprises accommodation, dining, medical, transport and essential services for athletes and team officials during the Commonwealth Games, will be situated on a 24-hectare site at Perry Barr off the A453 Aldridge Road. The site is the current location of the old University of Central England (UCE) and Birmingham City University (BCU) campus near Perry Barr greyhound stadium and the One Stop Shopping Centre and is just one mile from Alexander Stadium, which will play a pivotal role during the Games.
Up to 6,500 competitors and officials will be housed in approximately 1,000 new homes in the Village, consisting of a mix of one and two-bed apartments as well as three and four-bed town houses.
After the Games, the Village accommodation will be converted and become available as a mixture of homes for sale and market rent as well as for social and affordable rent (through the city council’s Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust and In-Reach rental initiative).
The Village will act as a catalyst for significant housing growth in Perry Barr as the first phase of a wider programme to deliver up to 3,000 new homes in the area.
This wider programme will also make a crucial contribution to the city’s housing needs as outlined in the city council’s Birmingham Development Plan – which has the headline requirement for 50,000 new homes within the city’s boundaries by 2031.
As part of the Village development, there are plans to invest in wider infrastructure in the surrounding area, including local access improvements, a proposed new bus interchange, the introduction of a SPRINT rapid bus service along the A34, and work to upgrade Perry Barr railway station.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council and chair of the Birmingham 2022 bid team, said: “Our proposal to bring the Games to Birmingham had a number of key strengths, including our outstanding track record of staging major sporting events, and having almost all of the competition venues in place.
“The development of the Village is therefore the largest new-build element of the Games – and will help rejuvenate Perry Barr and the wider surrounding area, meaning there will be a meaningful and lasting legacy for the people of Birmingham, in particular those living near the heart of the action in 2022.
“We have a desperate need for high-quality housing in the city and it would have been much trickier to meet that demand if we had not been successful in our bid to host the Games.
“A major regeneration programme like this will result in some degree of local disruption in the short-term and we recognise that patience will be required, but the long-term gains will far outweigh this.
“We are committed to engage with and involve local residents and businesses every step of the way over the next four years.”
A programme of public engagement is being developed to ensure those living and working near the site will have full information on all aspects of the project as it evolves, with the first public meeting, a Perry Barr Ward Committee, due to be held at Alexander Stadium at 7pm on Thursday, 15 February. The meeting will take place in the Back Straight Stand and all are welcome to attend.
Cllr Jon Hunt, local councillor for the Perry Barr ward and Liberal Democrat group leader on Birmingham City Council, added: “This part of Birmingham faces a number of challenges linked to housing, employment and deprivation, so in addition a Birmingham Commonwealth Games offers the chance to kick start the regeneration of Perry Barr.
“It is crucial that people within the local area feel the Games are delivering something for them. There have been issues with leisure facilities in the past, so it is important that we work together with the organisers to secure the legacy we deserve at a grassroots level.
“Perry Barr will be hosting thousands of people from all over the world for the Games. We want it to be a warm Brummie welcome.”
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Birmingham 2022 has the full support of the UK government, Commonwealth Games England, and the wider Midlands region, including: Birmingham City Council; three regional local enterprise partnerships: Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP; Black Country LEP; Coventry and Warwickshire LEP; the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street; the city’s universities; and the Midlands Engine. In addition, Birmingham 2022 is supported by The Birmingham Commonwealth Association.