From education to employment

BMet unveils plans for state-of-the-art inclusive sports centre for Greater Birmingham

BMet unveils Inclusive Sports Centre

BMet (@BMetC) has revealed ambitious plans to transform the Greater Birmingham region with the construction of a state-of-the-art Inclusive Sports Centre based at Sutton Coldfield College.

At an inaugural fundraising event held last week, the college shared extensive plans and the vision for the centre with businesses from across the city.  

Commenting on the plans, Jason Allen, Department Manager at BMet, said: “We have a vision.  By building this unique sports centre we will create a beacon of accessibility, where individuals of all abilities, across our city region can thrive in the world of sports and recreation. By creating a hub for community engagement, physical well-being and the development of aspiring athletes and sports people.”

The state-of-the-art building designed by leading architects, The Space Studio, has been specially planned to cater for disability and neurodiverse needs, by creating invaluable career and wellbeing pathways. The centre will complement the already strong sporting vocational and university level courses delivered at the college.

The college is seeking funding opportunities to support their vision to create the multipurpose inclusive sports and recreation hub, for people in the region all year round.

Around 30 employer leads from key organisations across the west midlands came together last week to discuss and view BMet’s plans to develop the innovative centre and to pledge their financial and in-kind support for the initiative.

A tour of the pre-designed space, which is currently an old sports hall also took place during the event. To revamp the area to a new accessible and innovative space – which will include gymnasiums with specialist equipment (to cater for different needs), zoned areas, a café, a learning space, a staff room, break out spaces and sensory spaces – works will cost circa £6.5 million pounds.

Here is what some employees had to say about BMet’s vision and the potential impact:

Peter Connelly, Director of Sport, Aston University: “It is hugely aspirational and inspiring project, that will have a phenomenal impact for people with seen and unseen disabilities. It is a fantastic initiative that will have an incredible impact in the Greater Birmingham area.”

Helen Miles, BMet Governor: “I was hugely encouraged to be around the positive atmosphere in the meeting to support BMet’s impressive and bold plans for a truly inclusive sports facility in the region.”

Chloe Williams – part of the UHB Employer Board for Sports, a physiotherapist in Neuroscience and BMet Alumni for Sports and Exercise Science: “Coming here has been extremely beneficial and I can see the potential for invaluable change that will help and support students and people in the community with disabilities and neuro-diversities. Through the new accessible facilities there is scope for so much growth, through gaining work ready and transferrable skills. I am excited to see how I can get involved.”

During the event launch, some BMet students on the Pan Disability Football Team also spoke about their positive experience gaining National Championship AOC Awards and how sports has helped them.

BMet has an ongoing commitment to improving the futures of its students by joining forces with likeminded community initiatives that reflect the vision. Being a key sponsorship partner with the Commonwealth Games in 2022 – with sole responsibility for the training of volunteers, enabled students, staff and members of the community to be involved in a variety of roles.

Suzie Branch-Haddow, Vice Principal – External Development went on to say: “This will be a truly inclusive space and it is a transformative venture, that has the power to fill critical gaps in the region and benefit Greater Birmingham at large. We are so pleased that initial reaction from local employers has been so overwhelming positive, and we are looking forward to creating this fantastic space for the city.”

Related Articles