£20 million NIA refurbishment given go-ahead

Birmingham City Council has granted the city’s National Indoor Arena (NIA) full planning permission to refurbish the venue in a £20.6 million modernisation plan.

The proposals will see the creation of a new showcase entrance straight from Brindleyplace into the arena, with large glazed views over the water and the city.

Following the decision by the city council Phil Mead, managing director of arenas, said: “This decision is extremely positive, and we can now realise our ambitious plans to improve this important world-class Birmingham venue, in line with council’s Big City Plan. Whilst the NIA is a key national as well as regional venue, it has been over two decades since any modernisation has taken place, and unfortunately this once great building is showing its age and needs improvements.”

The modernisation work is set to get underway in late 2012 and will include improved facilities and a much greater emphasis on both the pre and post show experience. The flow within the venue will be made much easier, increasing the ease of access and comfort for promoters, artists and visitors to the building.

This news follows the recent announcement of a five-year sponsorship deal between the NEC group and Barclaycard, who will become the payment partner for The Ticket Factory, the LG Arena, the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) as well as naming rights partner at the National Indoor Arena (NIA).

When the refurbishment of the central Birmingham site is completed, it is proposed the venue will be known as the NIA, A Barclaycard Unwind Experience.