KWB puts athletics’ governing bodies in starting blocks for move

Great Britain’s two largest athletics governing bodies are in the starting blocks as they prepare to relocate to an exciting new headquarters ahead of the 2012 London Olympics – with support from leading property specialists KWB.

UK Athletics, along with England Athletics, is planning to move into its new home at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium this month after signing a 10-year lease for 11,000 sq ft of office space in the new grandstand.

The deal, brokered by office sales and lettings specialists KWB, is seen as a coup for the city, Birmingham City Council and the venue which faced stiff competition from the Olympics 2012 site in London.

UK Athletics is relocating its national headquarters from Blythe Valley Business Park in Solihull to the stadium in Perry Park as it prepares for the most important year in its history. It will move its 80 staff into a new suite of offices forming part of the venue’s £12.8 million grandstand completed by Thomas Vale. England Athletics will be leaving Birmingham International Park to move alongside UK Athletics, moving 20 staff to the site.

KWB Office, based in Newhall Street, Birmingham, worked in partnership with Birmingham City Council’s leisure department to overcome any hurdles and secure the prestigious deal for the city, and ensure athletics’ governing bodies remained in the region.

UKA’s CEO Niels de Vos said: “We’ve enjoyed working with KWB throughout this process. Relocating the HQ of any organisation can be a complicated matter, and this is made all the more challenging as we approach the start of the Olympic year. As the governing body to the Nation’s favourite Olympic sport, the expert advice from KWB has more than matched up to the standards we expect.”

KWB managing director John Bryce said: “It’s tempting to say that the negotiations weren’t a sprint but a marathon, but we are delighted to have played our part in the relocation of UKA to a suite of offices at the new grandstand at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.

“UKA has links to Loughborough University and the Lee Valley athletics centre in London, where it has based two National Performance Centres, but has opted to relocate to Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium. It’s a major coup and a big vote of confidence for the venue and for the city.”

KWB Workplace, operating alongside the KWB agency team, assisted UKA in their search and evaluation of premises after meeting the governing body’s representatives more than 12 months ago to discuss their needs.

Adrian Southall, managing director of KWB Workplace, said: “We worked alongside our agency colleagues to assist UK Athletics in their search and evaluation process for premises. After drawing up a shortlist of premises that met their criteria it became obvious that the new development at Alexander Stadium provided the perfect opportunity.

“By utilising our services and purchasing power, combined with our knowledge of specifications, we have been able to help them make substantial savings on the fit-out of their new offices so they have been able to make the most of the £205,000 capital contribution grant from Birmingham City Council.”

The UKA and England Athletics finance director Kevan Taylor consulted KWB throughout the relocation process. He said: “In business and in sport it’s important to work as a team. We were therefore delighted with the winning combination of support and expert advice we received from KWB and their personable approach. We are now looking forward to an exciting new era for UK Athletics as we prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games.”

The USA track and field team, the biggest and most successful team in Olympic history, have confirmed that they will use the Alexander Stadium’s training facilities during the build up to the London Olympics.