Birmingham 2022 will use multi-site Athlete Villages

Published: Wednesday, 12th August 2020

The organisers of Birmingham 2022 have announced athletes and officials will be housed in three ‘campus’ villages at The University of Birmingham, The University of Warwick and The NEC Hotel Campus.

This new campus model will see 1,600 athletes and officials housed at the NEC Hotel Campus, 1,900 at The University of Warwick, and the principal village with 2,800 at The University of Birmingham.

The decision to move away from the single site athletes’ village in the Perry Barr area of the city has been made by the Games Partnership with just under two years to go, after reviewing the impact of the global health pandemic.

It follows an assessment by the project delivery team, who has been working with the construction supply chain, as well as independent experts, on how they could de-risk Games delivery. With a shorter than normal timeframe for delivery of the Birmingham 2022 Games, the new build accommodation site was under continued review from the outset, with expert consultation throughout, and had very little scope to withstand the impact COVID-19 has had on construction.

The Perry Barr Regeneration Scheme, with new housing and transport infrastructure, will still be delivered. This council-led residential scheme has been accelerated due to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and has been made possible with additional investment from central government.

The new three-site campus model for Birmingham 2022 athlete accommodation will be delivered within the overall Games budget of £778 million, with the Games remaining on track to be delivered on time and on budget.

The decision to move to three campus villages across the West Midlands has the support of athlete representatives and Commonwealth Games Associations across the world who have been told of the new plans.

  • The University of Birmingham
    • Already confirmed as a competition venue for Hockey and Squash, close to the Cricket
    • Approximately 2,800 bed spaces
    • Overall single en-suite accommodation, with potential to increase capacity in larger studio rooms
    • Substantial internal catering space and external spaces for extension
    • £55million development of The Sport & Fitness Club that features a 50m swimming pool, a large multi-sports arena, six glass-backed squash courts, a 10m climbing wall and five activity studios, as well as extensive rugby pitches. The gym boasts over 200 pieces of equipment and weights training space and it is already used by elite athletes from across the University sporting roster
  • The University of Warwick
    • £49 million recent investment into the site. Featuring a huge sports hall, 12-lane 25-metre swimming pool complete with a movable floor, state-of-the-art gym, studio spaces, climbing walls, squash and netball courts, and outdoor pitches, visiting athletes will have every aspect of the facilities at their disposal.
    • Substantial catering, recreational and other facilities
    • Single room ensuite accommodation
    • Approximately 1,900 bed spaces
    • UoW Accommodation is close to Rugby Sevens, Lawn Bowls, Judo and Wrestling competition venues
  • The NEC Hotel Campus
    • With world class credentials in hosting global visitors to the region, athletes and team officials will be close to NEC competition venues and training facilities, minimising transportation requirements
    • Close proximity to NEC competition venues and their training facilities – minimising transportation requirements
    • Approximately 1,600 bed spaces, primarily in 4-star accommodation
    • Excellent accommodation with largely ensuite single or twin rooms

Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022, said:

"These are challenging times for all of us and delivering a major multi sports event during this period has meant we have needed to collaborate effectively, be pragmatic to change, and remain realistic about the challenges we face.

"We recognise that this new model is a move away from the historic norm and we are grateful for the support shown by our partners across the Commonwealth Games Associations.

"Birmingham and the West Midlands is extremely fortunate to have superb alternate facilities and we are making this decision now, with two years to go, to de-risk the project, ensure delivery for athletes and teams and secure the legacy of new housing and transport infrastructure in Perry Barr.

"This is the sensible and pragmatic thing to do for the Games, the athletes and for the people of Birmingham. It enables Birmingham City Council to focus on the delivery of the Perry Barr Regeneration Scheme and gives us enough time to plan essential Games services like transport and security. Furthermore, it offers athletes and teams the assurance of a warm welcome and a superb Games experience in their homes-from-home across the West Midlands."

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

"The key physical legacy from Birmingham 2022 is a regenerated Perry Barr – and by working closely with our Games Partners that is absolutely secure going forward.

"Work to deliver housing which is currently ongoing will continue in the months and years to come as part of the wider plan to deliver 5,000 much needed homes for people in this area of the city.

"The fact we are moving straight to legacy on the residential scheme gives the council and its partners a chance to review the longer-term plans for homes in Perry Barr, to ensure they best meet the needs of local people.

"We will engage with local communities and offer more precise details on project timescales in due course.

"Put simply, this decision on the future of residential scheme brings greater certainty for the Commonwealth Games and will help us define a vision for Perry Barr which has the wellbeing of the community at its heart, to deliver the best possible legacy from the Games."

Alistair Brownlee, Commonwealth Games England’s nominee and vice chair of the Birmingham 2022 Athlete Advisory Committee, said:

"Making this decision with just under two years to go until the Games, means there is early clarity for team officials and athletes about where they will be staying during Birmingham 2022. As an athlete, we want to know that there are certain aspects of events that are guaranteed - accommodation is one of them. This early decision, during uncertain times, provides reassurance to athletes as they prepare to compete at their best in Birmingham."

Dame Louise Martin, President of the CGF, said:

"After detailed consultation and planning across the Birmingham 2022 Delivery Partnership, there was unanimous agreement and support for this new village option that will see athletes housed in accommodation with world-class facilities in three campus villages across the West Midlands.

"Athletes and team officials can expect excellent accommodation, convenient locations, transport and all other Games services they would typically find in a single location.

"We believe this is a positive solution that will be supported by our 71 nations and territories while plans for similar multiple campus village models are becoming a viable option for future Commonwealth Games to ensure greater affordability and access to the future hosting ambitions of cities.

"We remain confident that Birmingham 2022 will be delivered on time and on budget - offering a world class Games experience for athletes, fans and all the businesses and communities that look to benefit from this extraordinary event."

Craig Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Games Australia, said:

“We are all operating in a challenging and vastly different environment from any we have previously experienced and this requires us all to be nimble and accept that plans will inevitably change and often those changes will be significant.

“While a single Games Village is the norm, we know these aren’t normal times and accept that, despite the best of efforts by the B2022 Organising Committee, this will not be possible for Birmingham.

“Commonwealth Games Australia thanks the B2022 Organising Committee for their openness in sharing the changes to the Games Village solution. We will remain flexible in our planning to ensure we achieve our two overriding objectives for the Games – that our athletes are able to achieve their best possible performances, and they have the best possible Games experience. This remains our focus.

“Birmingham 2022 will be a different Games experience; however, it will be a Games experience to remember.”

Background notes

The Birmingham City Council-led plans to transform Perry Barr will continue now that the Village development is no longer required in time for the Games. This means that the housing regeneration scheme due to be built, can be to a residential specification from the outset, rather than having to be retrofitted as domestic dwellings post-Games time.

About the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from 28 July until 8 August 2022, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the city, the region and its people on the global stage.

The Games is already proving to be a catalyst for transformation across the West Midlands, attracting new investment and funding, creating jobs and apprenticeships for local people and new opportunities for local businesses, as well as accelerating projects that will ensure the region is ready to host a fantastic sports and cultural celebration.

The Alexander Stadium will be overhauled, and a brand-new Aquatics Centre will be built in Sandwell for the Games.

Birmingham 2022 will be the Games for everyone, bringing people together from across Birmingham and the region, to provide a warm welcome to millions of visitors during the summer of 2022.

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