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Lendlease’s Commonwealth Games athletes’ village scrapped

13 August 2020

Plans to house athletes at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 1,400-home development have been scrapped amid fears it might not be ready in time, following delays to the programme caused by covid-19.

Lendlease had been appointed to build the athletes’ village. The organisers of Birmingham 2022 said they would instead house athletes and officials at three ‘campuses’ around the city, at the NEC hotel, the University of Warwick and the main village at the University of Birmingham.

They said the decision to move away from the single-site athletes’ village in the Perry Barr area had been made “after reviewing the impact of the global health pandemic”.

It followed an assessment by the project delivery team, who has been working with the construction supply chain, as well as independent experts, on how they could de-risk Games delivery.

Birmingham City Council said in a statement: “With a shorter-than-normal timeframe for delivery of the Birmingham 2022 Games, the new build accommodation site was under continued review from the outset, with expert consultation throughout, and had very little scope to withstand the impact covid-19 has had on construction.”

Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022, said: “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.”

Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council added that the decision created to opportunity to “move straight to legacy” on the residential scheme, rather than retrofitting the homes once the Commonwealth Games had concluded.