Ambitious plans unveiled for NEC campus

NEC Masterplan unveiled
Published: Monday, 5th November 2018

Birmingham City Council and The NEC Group today unveiled ambitious plans for the development of the NEC Campus in Solihull with the launch of the NEC Masterplan

The site is home to the NEC, its sister venue Genting Arena, Resorts World Birmingham and the recently-opened Merlin visitor attraction, Bear Grylls Adventure. Together they welcome over seven million visitors each year.

The NEC Masterplan, which the city council cabinet will be asked to endorse at its meeting on 13 November, sets out significant growth opportunities through the redevelopment of 75 hectares of land creating 315,000 square metres of new floorspace, up to 10,000 new jobs and 2,500 new homes.

NEC Group has recently been sold to private equity funds managed by ‘Blackstone’. As part of the original sale of the NEC Group in 2015 the City Council retained a freehold interest in the land at the Solihull site. The Masterplan reflects a shared vision as both landowner and operator for the transformation of the campus.

Ian Ward Leader of Birmingham City Council said: "I am delighted to launch this Masterplan which sets out a radical vision for the transformation of the NEC campus which will not only see the Midlands International appeal and global position strengthened but also bring huge economic benefits to our local communities."

Waheed Nazir Corporate Director Economy at Birmingham City Council said: "The NEC campus is a unique development opportunity which can accommodate significant commercial, residential and leisure uses that will complement our ambitious plans in Birmingham City Centre at Curzon and Birmingham Smithfield."

Paul Thandi – CEO of NEC Group said: "With the backing of our new majority shareholder, Blackstone, we have ambitious plans to develop our business further. The Masterplan is an important element of that expansion and builds on the excellent progress we have made over the last few years towards creating a truly world-class business, entertainment and leisure destination."

Councillor Bob Sleigh, Leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council said: "I welcome the publication of this Masterplan for the NEC which has been identified as one of the main areas for growth in the UK Central Hub, Solihull. These ambitious proposals to continue the diversification of the leisure and entertainment offer are a key component of the UK Central vision to be globally renowned as one of the best connected destinations for business, leisure and living in Europe and a major engine for growth in the UK."

View the cabinet report

NEC Group

NEC Group is a live entertainment business with over forty years of world-class expertise in venue and destination management.

The Group has announced an £8.5m transformation of the NEC campus with high-tech digital displays and a unique facelift for the exterior of exhibition halls that can be backlit to stunning effect. A Bear Grylls Adventure, operated by Merlin Entertainments, opened on site last month and a 224-bedroom Moxy Hotel is under construction and due to open mid-2019.

Five of the UK’s leading business, leisure, and entertainment venues come under NEC Group’s portfolio - the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), International Convention Centre (ICC), Genting Arena, Arena Birmingham and the Vox Conference Centre.

Additional interests include national ticketing agency, The Ticket Factory, hospitality brand, Amplify and award-winning caterer, Amadeus, as well as out-of-home digital media specialists and sponsorship consultancy, NEC Group Connect.

NEC Group also has a consultancy and venue management arm, NEC Group Venue Partnerships, which was recently awarded operating partner status for the iconic former Bradford Odeon.

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