The £26 million redevelopment of the NIA has reached a milestone after the “sky needles” which tower 160ft over the city centre were installed.

The needles, standing at 52, 65 and 85ft high on the roof of the NIA, were put in place today (September 9) as work on the King Edwards Road building draws closer to an end.

The operation took four hours for BAM Construction to complete this morning, with a 48-hour road closure in place, allowing time for the rig and de-rig of the 500 tonne crane. 

 

The different heights of the three needles is to symbolise the podium in athletics and reflect the NIA’s rich sporting heritage from when it was first opened by athlete, Linford Christie, in October 1991.

The scheme aims to take advantage of the NIA’s canalside location and was named as one of the 15 in 15 major events taking place in Birmingham next year.

The work has seen all areas of the arena upgraded, with 65,000 sq ft of floorspace added.

Paul Thandi, chief executive of the NEC Group, which is currently up for sale , said: “This is a proud moment for the NIA team and Birmingham.  This redevelopment is vital for the regional economy in ensuring we compete effectively in a national and global marketplace.  By continuing to attract national and international events to Birmingham, we can give the one million plus visitors we draw each year the best possible relevant customer experience.”

 

BAM spokesman John Mensforth said: “The successful placing of the Sky Needles is another important milestone in the construction process and coincides nicely with the reopening of the Arena following the summer closure for refurbishment works. The project has been a challenge for BAM and our supply chain but the site team have continued to deliver areas on schedule with completion on track for the end of 2014.”