Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter to Clerk of the Committee from the Project Director, Birmingham City Council


  Thank you for your letter dated 12 June. Please let me respond to your questions in the following way:

1.  How much have Birmingham and Solihull Councils and the NEC Group spent on developing their proposal for a national stadium next to the NEC?

  Birmingham and Solihull Councils and the NEC have spent approximately £700,000 in developing our proposal for the stadium project next to the NEC. This has produced a detailed planning application ready for submission which meets fully the specifications and the timescale set out by the Government and the FA. In addition to actual costs incurred we were supported by significant in-kind contributions from the private sector with business plans, quantity surveying, legal advice and press and marketing which have amounted to a further £300,000.

2.(a)  What encouragement and when, did you receive to pursue this initiative from Patrick Carter?

  Immediately following his appointment to review the Wembley project. Patrick Carter off his own initiative chose to visit Birmingham and spent several hours with the project team discussing the proposal. He made it clear that he was open-minded and that he wished to consider the Birmingham option in detail. With DCMS he asked for detailed information to be prepared on the costing, funding requirements and business plan for a 90,000 seater stadium in Birmingham.

  Throughout the process Patrick Carter and his team came back to us many times for further information before completing his report in December.

2.(b)  DCMS

  I have covered this in the above except to say that there were several follow-up meetings in London in the run-up to December when they continued to give encouragement including DCMS colleagues acknowledging that we were frustrated with the process suggesting that Birmingham should "hang in there" since our proposal was recognised as an attractive alternative.

2.(c)  The FA

  From the outset of the review we have received nothing but encouragement from the FA, but limited access to information about their existing commitments and agreements or detailed business requirements for the stadium. Please see in the attached letter dated 4 July 2001 you will see that Adam Crozier gave us significant encouragement and repeatedly did so in subsequent meetings with him in his office.

  It has to be said that Adam Crozier took the initiative to approach Birmingham when he met me last May before Patrick Carter had commenced his study.

  At this stage Adam Crozier said that he would be very interested in a rival proposition from Birmingham and continued to give nothing but encouragement.

2.(d)  Sport England

  We have had no direct contact.

  Finally, there was no indication of the agreement referred to in the Select Committee and we can see from any correspondence at the time and in his reply in which he does not directly answer any questions specifically that we were unaware of the staging agreements between Wembley and the FA.

19 June 2002

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