Situated in the heart of Birmingham City centre, the Barclaycard Arena – formerly the National Indoor Area (NIA) – is one of the busiest and most loved large-scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in Europe.
Located on King Edwards Road, just opposite the National Sea Life Centre, the Barclaycard Arena is a popular destination with both locals and visitors and each year sees a list of show stopping names hit the stage.
Since opening its doors in 1991, the arena has housed an extensive and diverse array of events from the Yonex All England Badminton Championships and WWE Raw to Madonna’s MDNA World Tour and Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz World Tour. In 1998 the arena was the venue of choice for the 43rd Eurovision Song Contest and throughout the ‘90s the arena was the home of popular TV show Gladiators.
Keen to keep the arena at the forefront of the entertainment industry a £26 million makeover has recently been implemented, designed to refurbish, enhance and improve facilities. Project management specialist, Novus Alliance Ltd, is overseeing the project, which incorporates a mix of new build with improvements to existing areas of the building.
Discussing the project, Managing Director of Novus Alliance Ltd, Chris Hill, said:
“As this is a live tenanted building, in what is very much a land-locked site, logistically, and from a planning point of view, this is an extremely complex project. There are some 25 phases in total, with 22 handed over to date.
“The largest of the phases is a four-storey extension to the front of the building. This is a south-east facing extension and includes approximately 1,500sq metres of curtain walling, giving in the region of 5,000 sq metres of additional space from what was previously provided at the arena.
“Within this four-storey extension is a new public concourse level; an expanded existing concourse; and two new hospitality mezzanine levels – the Quartz and Foundry. Such hospitality levels offering 500 covers of fine dining between the two floors.
“Although the extension was a major part of the project, in order to achieve this latter phase we had to fulfil a number of other phases prior to this, consisting of complete reconfiguration of the operational aspects, from relocating office space to creating new dressing room suites for artists and promoters.”
Royal BAM Group is the main contractor on the transformation of the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham. Royal BAM Group is a successful European construction group, delivering projects within the construction, M&E, civil engineering, property and public-private sectors.
Additional works on the project have included the construction of new Show Decks – located within the arena – and the replacement of seating. A sponsor’s lounge, four external-facing retail units and an illuminated graphics wall are also being fitted into the arena.
“The project is £26 million for the main building, with approximately £1.3 million for the new seating.”
As part of the completion of the project, access is being improved for inaccessible visitors whilst enhanced technology will be installed throughout the building to ensure that the arena meets the requirements of the digital age.
The architectural practice on the project is Broadway Malyan, an award-winning international architecture, urbanism and design practice. Broadway Malyan has 16 studios, operates in 43 countries and has a collective team of more than 500 design experts.
“This project is all about maintaining the market share. There are numerous arenas all around the UK as well as the world and this project is designed to enhance what is on offer here in Birmingham. The Barclaycard Arena is more than 23 years old and by the time that this project was implemented it had reached that age where it was starting to look in need of rejuvenation. This project is all about improving the experience for customers, as well as improving areas for the operational team and for the artists who are coming to perform at the arena.”
“To start a business from scratch, with a £26 million project is unheard of. While a significant challenge, it has been a fantastic flagship scheme which I am extremely proud to be working on. This is an iconic building in the centre of Birmingham, so to be delivering the project early and within budget is a great success.”
For more information on the Barclaycard Arena, or to see what is coming up in 2015, please visit: www.barclaycardarena.co.uk.
Inox Equip Ltd
Inox Equip Ltd design and install commercial catering equipment for the leisure and hospitality sector. The company has been in operation for 15 years and within this time has worked on many prestigious venues, including the LG Arena Birmingham and Event City in Manchester.
Working on the Barclaycard Arena project, Inox Equip was awarded the tender by Royal BAM Construction to design and install the venue’s beverage outlets and hospitality kitchens. The company viewed this as a very important project due to its diversity.
Inox Equip Ltd Project Director, Mark Kendall, said:
“Working on this project was very important and it was great that the project was able to take place whilst the arena remained open.”
Inox Equip Ltd is a member of CEDA – The Catering Equipment Distributors Association – and as such adheres to the association’s codes of practice. The company’s work on the Barclaycard Arena is being put forward for a CEDA Award, which is something that Mark is very proud of.
Time Sec specialises in the provision of manned guarding, CCTV and all aspects of security for the construction industry. The company has been in operation since 2002 and within this time has provided security services for a variety of projects, from the extension of Birmingham Airport’s Runway 1 to the construction of a new dental hospital for Galliford Try. Clients include Taylor Wimpey, Kier Homes, Gilbert Ash, Balfour Beatty and BAM, amongst others.
Working on the Barclaycard Arena project, Time Sec provided security services to BAM, including the provision of CSCS and banksman trained staff to assist with all aspects of the day-to-day security of the site. This included checking induction records to ensure a secure and safe environment for all contractors, visitors and members of the public.
Discussing the importance of the project, Steve Bailey of Time Sec, said:
“We are a Birmingham based company so it is important to us that Birmingham receives the support and growth it needs to make it the sister city to London.”
“Time Sec is big enough to cope but small enough to care. All clients know us on a first name basis and we make a point of making regular contact. We work well under pressure and last minute guarding is one of our specialities.
“We are proud of our ability to provide the right person for the right job not just a person for a job. We always use local labour no matter where we are in the UK, meaning local jobs for local people, and we promote the apprentice incentive to ensure the security industry is prepared for the next step.”