UK Athletics (UKA) has confirmed that Birmingham will host a new Performance Innovation Centre from summer 2023, after agreeing a partnership with the City Council for the facility to be situated on the redeveloped Alexander Stadium campus, helping cement the site’s Commonwealth Games legacy.
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, which are not currently available to athletes in the UK. Athletes and coaches visiting the centre will be able to deep-dive into their performance through having access to diagnostic capabilities with specialist expertise, in an environment designed for problem solving and collaboration.
UKA CEO, Jack Buckner, 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 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 Innovation Centre will become the home for the additional innovation and problem solving required.
The Performance Innovation Centre has been made possible as 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.
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.
Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Ian Ward, 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 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.”