Birmingham City Council's Jayne Francis, left, and Birmingham City University Vice Chancellor Philip Plowden, right, announce the deal which will see students study at the 2022 Commonwealth Games venue ©Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City University (BCU) students are to move into the Alexander Stadium, the centrepiece of last year's Commonwealth Games in the city, after stands are converted for academic use.

Representatives of BCU and Birmingham City Council have signed a lease agreement for the University to join UK Athletics and Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club as tenants at the Stadium, which underwent a £72 million ($84 million/€82million) renovation for the Commonwealth Games.

"The Alexander Stadium was front-and-centre of the hugely successful Commonwealth Games, which showcased our great city to a global audience, that’s why we’re delighted that our students will soon be calling the venue home," BCU Vice Chancellor Professor Philip Plowden said.

"As the University for Birmingham, it is our mission to transform the lives of our students, the city and wider society, the Alexander Stadium is the perfect example of this," Plowden added.

BCU is spending £5 million ($6 million/€5.7 million) installing specialist equipment and teaching facilities in the East and West Stands which are expected to be used by some 1200 students.

"Not only will our sports students benefit from world-class facilities based at an internationally-renowned sporting venue, but we’re also playing our part in securing the legacy of the Commonwealth Games for both the city and future generations,” Bowden added.

The rebuilt Alexander Stadium was the showpiece venue for last year's Commonwealth Games in BIrmingham ©Getty Images
The rebuilt Alexander Stadium was the showpiece venue for last year's Commonwealth Games in BIrmingham ©Getty Images

The equipment to be installed includes biomechanics labs, environmental chambers and anti-gravity treadmills.

The students are expected to pursue careers as sports therapists, sports scientists, nutritionists,  coaches and in other sport related areas.

"Our investment will offer the opportunity to create new, innovative and bespoke learning and teaching spaces, which will ensure the venue remains a key part of the sporting fabric of the city for years to come," Professor Ian Blair, BCU executive dean of health education and life sciences, said.

The agreement means that BCU returns to the Perry Barr area of the city, home to the main campus of the University when it was originally established as North Birmingham Technical College in 1966.

The College later became known as Birmingham Polytechnic and eventually moved to the East side of the city.

"We’re thrilled BCU are returning to their spiritual home of Perry Barr," Birmingham City Council’s  Digital, Culture, Heritage and Tourism Cabinet Member Jayne Francis said.

"From day one of the project to renovate the Stadium, we have been clear its use and purpose had to be about much more than the 11 days of the Commonwealth Games, it had to become one of the focal points of the regeneration of this area of the city,

"We want the Stadium complex to become a thriving hub of health, wellbeing, community and educational activity as well as a world-class sporting venue, having fantastic partners on board, like BCU, will help ensure this."

Overall, some £778 million ($962 million/€842 million) of public funding paid for Birmingham 2022, widely considered to be one of the most successful Commonwealth Games in history.

BCU students Amber Alys, Francesca Wilcox and Catarina Rodrigues Caeiro designed the medals for Birmingham 2022 and other students helped create costumes for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

It is expected that students will begin studying at the stadium in January 2024.