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National Indoor Arena begins refurb

Work on the £26m redevelopment of Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena (NIA) will commence this month, following the appointment of contractor BAM Construction.

Phil Mead, Managing Director of Arenas, NEC Group, said:

This redevelopment is vital in ensuring we continue to attract world-class artists to Birmingham in a competitive global marketplace, giving promoters, visiting artists and our audience the best possible experience.

The redevelopment of the NIA is responding to the changing expectations from audiences on their pre and post show experience; as well as interaction at the venue before and after events, and the sharing of experiences on social media, they want great food and beverage offerings, comfort, the latest technology and a great sense of arrival as part of their visit.

Phase 1 in 2013 will centre on the redevelopment of key backstage areas of the NIA, including control room, medical and storage facilities, as well as production offices, crew catering facilities and dressing rooms – offering the latest in technology and first-class facilities for promoters and artists.

Phase 2 in 2014 will move into a further period of redevelopment work, including hospitality suites, concourse expansion, improved circulation areas and – most significantly – the new external façade of the NIA. The NIA redevelopment is due for completion in winter 2014.

With full backing by Birmingham City Council as part of their Big City Plan, the modernisation of the NIA will take advantage of its unique location on the city’s canal side.

The most dramatic element will be a new glass-fronted façade and Front of House Showcase straight from Brindleyplace into the arena, creating a dynamic arrival for visitors and adding 5,926 sqm of pre/post show space into the 13,437 sqm of redevelopment. Iconic ‘Sky Needles’ on top of the NIA will add to the skyline of Birmingham and light up at night.

Standing capacity for the NIA will increase to circa 15,000 and seating capacity to 12,500.

Enhanced hospitality/food and beverage offers and seven-days-a-week retail outlets will all add value to the visitor experience. The flow within the NIA will be made much easier, increasing the ease of access and comfort for promoters and visitors alike.

All areas of the NIA will be touched by the redevelopment – from front of house through to backstage. The dressing rooms will be completely transformed to provide a 5 star experience for visiting artists.

On the appointment of BAM, just coming off the Leeds Arena project, as contractor after two stages of tender, Mead said:

BAM Construction presented a most compelling case which resulted in them being awarded the main contract and we look forward to working in partnership with them to make the Future NIA a reality.

Artist’s impression of the redeveloped NIA, Birmingham.

Artist’s impression of the redeveloped NIA, Birmingham.