Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
UK Athletics and the AAA of England are offering a total of £25,000 to the five best performing athletes over the three-day meeting in Birmingham.

The move is aimed at attracting more elite athletes and increasing the strength in depth of the competition as a whole.

It follows concerns raised after last year’s event, and its indoor equivalent in February, which saw thinner fields and fewer top names competing than in previous years.

UK Athletics president Lynn Davies said: "We recognised that there has been a problem in terms of the turnout at the Trials & AAAs.

These are the national championships and we should have the best available field in every event

AAA president Sebastian Coe
"The key outcome of these changes has to be deeper fields right across the board, from elite world stars, through national level competitors, to top club runners.

We want a stronger Trials & AAAs, we want a better meet for those competing and for those in the crowd, and we want a better product for the viewers watching the live TV coverage."

Five prizes of £5,000 will be on offer to the best performances, measured against the IAAF world lists for the year.

For example, a winning time in the 100m that was the world’s third fastest of the season would be considered a better performance that the fourth-best high jump of the year.

Other changes will make participation easier for club-level athletes.

For the first time athletes will be invited to compete, as opposed to the onus being on competitors to enter.

The financial burden on the club athletes will be eased through subsidised accommodation at Birmingham University, with transport to and from the stadium.

Sebastian Coe, president of the AAAs, said: "It is not just the major championship gold medallists that we need to cater for, but those athletes that make up the next level of talent in this country.

“The key thing is that these are the national championships and we should have the best available field in every event.”