The New National Indoor Arena

OD4A0091 screen sizeThe NIA has been a huge draw for visitors to Birmingham since it was officially opened in 1991; the flexible arena has since gained a global reputation for world-class sports, headline comedy and music, and a diverse range of crowd-pleasing live entertainment.

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Now it’s time to look to the future……

View from outside National Sealife Centrre - Artists impression of the New NIA - permission of NEC LtdSet to undergo a £20.6 million transformation, the modernisation of the NIA aims to take advantage of its unique location on the city’s canal side and will feature a new showcase entrance straight from Brindleyplace into the arena, with large glazed views over the water and the city.

Work will get underway in late 2012 and will include improved facilities and a much greater emphasis on both the pre and post show experience. Coupled with an exciting partnership with Barclaycard, the NIA will offer a vastly improved experience for anyone setting foot in the arena.

The NIA, A Barclaycard Unwind Experience, will reopen at the end of 2014 and will offer amazing new experiences, as well as first-class facilities and the world’s best performers.

What is happening during Winter 2013?……

Things will start happening at a pace very soon. The schedule of work for Winter 2013 is:

    • Arena level
    • Existing stores removed and car park void infill slab constructed
    • New north technical store constructed
    • New heating ring main pipe work installed
    • Existing staircase removed and security control room constructed
    • New star dressing rooms constructed
    • Piles for new ‘D’ structure constructed from within level 7 car park
    • Access to car park from existing south entrance created
    • Access gained to level 7 car park from existing south entrance
  • Concourse level
  • Access gained through opening formed in existing wall
  • New slab concreted over existing staircase Jan – Feb 2013
  • New male and female toilets constructed Jan- Apr 2013
  • Existing staircase removed and new slab formed Jan 2013
  • New ring main pipework installed
  • Existing plantroom extended, Cofely plant installed, new plant and equipment installed Access to level 7 plant room gained from north car park
  • Existing trees and vegetation removed Feb 2013
  • Level 03 Mezzanine
  • Floor slab for new Barclaycard lounge constructed
  • No public access will be available to the concourse area below the new mezzanine floor slab during 4th – 18th Feb 2013
  • All access for construction will be from north concourse doors CL1 and CL1.6

Many thanks for permission to publish the above text and images to  Chris Pile, Marketing Manager – arenas, The National Exhibition Centre Limited.

Report on the Redevelopment Engagement Night on 12 December……

KEW Resident, David Foster, attended the first of these meetings and below he gives his recollection of some significant points from this.

”The conditions attached to the Planning consent include a Sect 106 agreement; the principal element of this was support for transportation Interconnect works.

”The construction project is designed to avoid closing the arena. Those works (e.g. replacing seating) which necessarily involve the arena will be done during summer ‘shut-down’ periods in each of 2013 and 2014. The replaced seats will have higher backs allowing the existing rails to be removed and thereby give more leg-room.

”Among elements of the plan which caught my attention were:

  • the much increased enclosed facade will massively change the external appearance; it is expected, also, to retain visitors for longer which may help to spread the periods during which vehicles leave the car parks;
  • they will significantly increase toilet capacity;
  • funding is aided through the sponsorship deal with Barclaycard, who will acquire naming rights across the NEC group, but the ‘NIA’ name is retained. All funding is through the private sector; there is no public funding.

”Chris  Pile announced a number of communications initiatives:

  • the ‘Bigger Picture’ monthly newsletter
  • email communications to everyone that wants to know, and supplies their email address
  • future.thenia.co.uk’ website is now live and includes an active timeline of building activities
  • they aim to become a better neighbour and are actively involving Nelson Primary School
  • the next monthly public meeting will be January 16th 2013.

”In response to questions:

  •  Barclaycard brings customer information, as well as funding.
  • Ticket prices set by promoter, not by NEC or Barclaycard.
  • Community Hall is essentially unaffected but they intend to beef up its profile – new GM.
  • Only slight increase in seating capacity – max 800 in 14000.
  • Why not manage car park exiting better? (NIA staff claim that it is always managed with major events, but smaller events not actively managed.)”

Many thnks to David for the above.

Keep in touch with progress……

PowerPoint PresentationPeriodic NIA Redevelopment Engagement Nights (left) will be held where you can keep in touch with plans and progress the next of these will be held on 31 January at 6:15pm in the NIA Olympian Suite 1.

A monthly newsletter,  latest The Bigger Picture – Dec 12, will also be issued.

There is also a website, future.thenia.co.uk where you can keep up with progress