The centre will provide high-class technology for athletes which is ‘not currently available in the UK’.
UK Athletics (UKA) has confirmed that the stadium will host the new centre from summer 2023, after agreeing a partnership with the City Council.
The city is set to host the European Athletics Championships in 2026 and the centre will provide athletes with the best possible facilities to prepare for the tournament.
What will be included in the centre?
Designed for the primary use of UKA World Class Programme (WCP) athletes and coaches, the state-of-the-art facility will enable world-leading capability to understand track and field performance through ‘enhanced technology and analytics’.
UK Athletics say athletes and coaches visiting the centre will be able to deep-dive into their performance through having access to diagnostic capabilities with specialist expertise.
The Performance and Innovation Centre is part of the legacy project for the Commonwealth Games site, through close working with partners – Birmingham City Council, the English Institute of Sport Performance Innovation Team, the UK Sport Elite Training Centre Strategy and Sport England.
What’s been said about the new centre?
Jack Buckner, UKA CEO, said: “For some time, UKA has aspired to have an environment which adds value to the daily training of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes, where training and performance insight can be taken to the next level and rival international competitors. The creation of the Performance and Innovation Centre will help us to achieve this.”
Loughborough University will remain an important training base for WCP athletes on both the Olympic and Paralympic programmes. The Performance and Innovation Centre will become the home for the additional innovation and problem solving required..
Stephen Maguire, UKA Technical Director, said: “Partnerships and expertise with a long-term commitment to support athlete progress such as these are critical to realising our ambitions whilst delivering a lasting legacy for athletics performance in the UK.”
UKA’s enhanced presence on site will complement a range of existing tenants such as Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club and Birmingham City University, which is set to establish a campus at the Stadium for sports and exercise students.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “This partnership with UKA underlines the Alexander Stadium’s status as the premier athletics facility in the UK.
“I am delighted that Birmingham, through this Performance and Innovation Centre, will play a key role in the development and success of future generations of world-class talent.
“But just as important is the enhanced purpose it brings to our new facilities. The Commonwealth Games always needed to be about more than 11 fantastic days of sport – through partnerships like this and other things we are working on, the Stadium will become a focal point for health, wellbeing, education and community activity for everyone from the people of Perry Barr to elite-level athletes.”