Plans to deploy used shipping containers in a new development aimed at maximising Birmingham’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games this summer have been approved by the city council.
The scheme, in the Perry Barr area of the city, will initially involve 14 containers and four big screens to create an unofficial fans venue for people to gather and watch the sports during the event in July and August.
Following that, a range of other developments using containers will take place, with 72 more containers being added.
This project is a further demonstration of the many innovations that are possible for someone who decides to buy a used shipping container in the UK.
Perry Barr lies in the north of the city, close to the Alexandra Stadium in Perry Park where the main athletics events will be held during the games.
As the Birmingham Mail reports, not everyone was convinced by the plan. Some opposition Conservative councillors questioned whether having the containers in place over a planned seven-year period would be a good legacy or help with the planned major redevelopment of the Perry Barr area.
However, a council planning officer called the idea “very innovative”, commenting: “We’ve seen a number of these sorts of facilities popping up across the country in Brixton, Croydon, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester.”
The debate thus hinged on the value of the project as a temporary scheme, with the land where the containers will sit being earmarked for new housing in future.
Of course, many major sports events see the venues themselves making use of some temporary structures, although Birmingham is mainly using existing venues for the Games including Edgbaston Cricket Ground, The National Indoor Arena and the National Exhibition Centre.
However, one sporting event this year will make plenty of use of shipping containers on a temporary basis. Stadium 974 in Doha will host several games in the Football World Cup and its name derives from the number of used shipping containers embedded in its fabric.
After the tournament, the stadium will be dismantled and the area redeveloped.