Extension and refurbishment scheme to include enhanced ancillary retail areas (Use classes A1, A3, A4 and A5), external facade works, erection of 3 no. ‘Sky Needles’ signage, landscape and public realm works.
For those familiar with Brindleyplace the layout of the NIA complex is at odds with the more common access routes to the venue. If you enter through Brindleyplace you end up walking across the bridges over the canals and ending up at the service area of the venue, and also facing a rather plain looking building. The approved plans for the refurbishment of the NIA take into account its setting against the canal network, and open up the area through better access whilst also improving the facade.
Set to undergo a £20.6 million transformation, the modernisation of the NIA aims to take advantage of its unique location on the city’s canal side and will feature a new showcase entrance straight from Brindleyplace into the arena, with large glazed views over the water and the city.
Work will get underway in late 2012 and will include improved facilities and a much greater emphasis on both the pre and post show experience. Coupled with an exciting partnership with Barclaycard, the NIA will offer a vastly improved experience for anyone setting foot in the arena.
Unfortunately the refurbishment does not encompass the whole exterior of the venue, and the car park around the back will still look odd and dull once this work has finished.
That said the creation of retail/food/drink units fronting the canalside, will certainly help people interact with this side of the building and help improve the public realm in the longer term.