Architects have been set the task of transforming The NIA into a “striking state-of-the-art venue”.
Broadway Malyan – the firm behind the redesign of Bournville College – will spearhead a team to conceive an improved NIA, celebrating the vibrant live entertainment and sporting events it is renowned for.
The firm will be also joined by quantity surveyor Turner and Townsend, structural specialist Rodgers Leask, mechanical and electrical firm Capita and catering specialist InoxEquip.
A feasibility study has begun and will run for eight weeks to envisage and create a new look and feel to the popular city centre venue.
This new venture follows the £29 million refurbishment of its sister venue – the LG Arena – 13 months ago.
A budget for the revamp of The NIA will be formed at the end of the feasibility study. With the proposed title rights and other sponsorship opportunities, work could start as early as summer 2011.
Phil Mead, managing director of Arenas, part of The NEC Group said: “We are on the starting blocks to transform The NIA from the well–used building it is now to becoming an exciting and contemporary venue. We want our visitors not just to experience world class events, but to enjoy the experience from the moment they arrive.
“By appointing Broadway Malyan as the architects leading on this project, we have found an innovative practice that can turn our vision into a reality and make The NIA into a destination in its own right.”
The aim of the feasibility study is to make The NIA more accessible, both visually and physically, taking advantage of its key canal-side location.
Creating a sense of arrival is key, with the possibility of a brand new entrance overlooking the canal at Brindleyplace.
Improving the customer experience pre and post show are also top of the agenda, with a new look and feel to the concourse and a superior hospitality offering, giving visitors more choice of food, beverage and merchandising.
Aidan Ridyard, director of Broadway Malyan, said: “This is an fantastic commission on many levels: working with a client as prestigious as The NEC Group to reinvent an incredible venue like The NIA is a rare opportunity indeed.”