Work has begun on a Commonwealth Convention Centre at the Ricoh Arena ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The Ricoh Arena is a 32,000-seat stadium, which serves at the home of Coventry City Football Club and Wasps Rugby Football Club.
Exhibition space is connected to the stadium, as well as an on-site DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Grosvenor Casino.
The Ricoh Arena said an existing 1,750 square metre conference and exhibition space in the lower halls of the venue will be transformed as part of the development.
The three-month project will see the space undergo an aesthetic overhaul, including the installation of a state-of-the-art digital and audio-visual technology system.
It is said this will help to provide a flexible, modern and market-leading facility.
The modernisation will give exhibitors and organisers access to up to 7,750 square metres of exhibition and conference space.
The first part of the redevelopment is expected to take place over three months.
Further construction will begin in September on developing a pavilion entrance on the south side of the venue, as well as a new Commonwealth Convention Centre lobby and dedicated art and gallery space to showcase local projects and act as a community gathering point.
Judo and wrestling competitions will take place at the Commonwealth Games next year at the venue.
"This is a major step in the redevelopment of the Arena and signals the beginning of works to create the state-of-the-art Commonwealth Convention Centre," said Stephen Vaughan, Wasps Group chief executive.
"This project will repurpose the existing site and bring innovative digital technology to the lower halls that are also being installed across other areas of the venue.
"There will be a dramatic visual improvement to the space which will enhance the overall experience of companies looking to host events with us.
"The refurbishment will help to seamlessly connect the three existing halls with the soon-to-be-constructed south pavilion entrance, which will create a vibrant and impactful look that befits a market-leading convention and conference centre."
The investment in the conferencing and exhibition facilities is expected to be around £5.3 million ($6.92 million/€5.87 million).
Approximately £3.8 million ($4.96 million/€4.2 million) has been made available to the venue via the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).
An additional £1.4 million ($1.83 million/€1.55 million) has also been made available to the Ricoh Arena via the CWLEP from the Local Growth Fund and Growing Places Fund.
"This construction work marks the start of the refurbishment of the lower halls which, along with the creation of the Commonwealth Convention Centre starting in the autumn, will be a significant addition to the area’s conference and exhibitions market," said Sarah Windrum, chair of the CWLEP.
"It is vital we attract delegates to the city and wider region both during UK City of Culture and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and beyond to secure the long-term prosperity of our area.
"That is one of the main focuses of the CWLEP’s Strategic Reset Framework as we reset our economy for a successful, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future."
The Commonwealth Convention Centre is expected to open in the first quarter of 2022.