Multi-sport venue hinges on casino

A masterplan for a £300 million sport village in Saltley, east Birmingham, was unveiled last week.

The proposals by Birmingham City Football Club aim to incorporate the UK's super casino to create thousands of jobs and boost investment. The scheme includes a 55,000-seat stadium designed by HOK Sport that would be the only arena in the country able to host football, rugby, cricket and athletics all year round.

A casino complex, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a hotel and community sports facilities are also proposed on the site, as well as up to 2,500 homes. But the scheme is dependent on securing the UK's super casino licence and a £117 million investment from casino operator Las Vegas Sands.

Birmingham City managing director Karren Brady said that the regeneration benefits of the project put it ahead of rival casino bids being promoted by the National Exhibition Centre. "We want to deliver regeneration and enrich people's lives in a way that no other casino proposal in the Midlands or in the UK can match," she added.

Coventry launched its own campaign for a casino at the Ricoh Arena this week, claiming that it would lead to major community and economic regeneration and create more than 1,000 jobs. Paul Fletcher, chief executive of the Ricoh Arena, said that the bid has been welcomed by the local community and has cross-party political support.

Tees Valley has also staked its claim for a super casino to be included in its Middlehaven renewal scheme. Tees Valley Regeneration claimed that it would provide 2,000 jobs and £150 million in extra investment. The bids follow on the heels of Southend's expression of interest (Planning, 28 October, p5).


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