Letter to Clerk of the Committee from
the Project Director, Birmingham City Council
WEMBLY STADIUM PROGRESS
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.
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