The Chief Executive for the Commonwealth Games has described the decision to not use the athletes' village in Perry Barr in 2022 as "something out of our control".
Commonwealth Games organisers announced on Tuesday (August 11) that the athletes' village in Perry Barr for the 2022 Commonwealth Games will not be used by the athletes.
The £500m project, being built by Birmingham City Council, will still go ahead but Covid -19 has delayed the project.
A Games spokesperson told ITV News Central that athletes will instead use three university campuses, student accommodation and facilities at the NEC.
Birmingham 2022 teams have confirmed that athletes and team officials will be housed in three ‘campus’ villages close to competition venues. These are at The University of Birmingham, The University of Warwick, and The NEC Hotel Campus.
- 1,600 athletes and officials will be housed at the NEC Hotel Campus - 1,900 housed at The University of Warwick, and the principal village with 2,800 at The University of Birmingham - the three-site campus model will be delivered within the overall Games budget of £778m. - The Perry Barr Regeneration Scheme work will continue.
Officials say the decision has been made after a "review of the construction programme" in the light of the pandemic. They say the Games will be delivered on time - and on budget.
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.
Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022 The countdown to the 2022 Games is on Credit: ITV News Central
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.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council Beach volleyball will come to Birmingham2022. Credit: ITV News Central
Commonwealth Games Australia, who will be handing over the event baton to Birmingham in 2022 said:
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.
Craig Phillips, Chief Executive Officer, of Commonwealth Games Australia Looking ahead: Two years till the Commonwealth Games begin