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November 2, 2008

Grand Designs Live visitor numbers soar

Despite a sharp decline in the housing market and tightening consumer spending, Grand Designs Live welcomed tens of thousands of visitors through the doors of the NEC, Birmingham last month.

Fans of the award-winning show for design, interiors, kitchens, bathrooms and gardens flocked to see Kevin McCloud, who presents the Channel 4 programme of the same name, officially open the Birmingham event for the third year running.

Despite the economic gloom, the show recorded impressive visitor numbers, with early indications of a 15-20% increase in visitors compared to last year. 

Speaking at the show, Kevin McCloud commented: “We’ve had an overwhelming response to this year’s show, here in Birmingham. It’s gratifying to know that in the current economic climate, people are recognising the value of improving their home and using Grand Designs Live as the resource for doing that. 
“Grand Designs has always been celebratory and the turnout at this year’s Grand Designs Live suggests that people are hungrier than ever for clever building solutions, design excellence and innovation.”

Crowds queued each morning to see celebrity experts and over 450 exhibitors. Highlights included Sony’s House of the Future, which featured the world’s thinnest 40-inch TV and Face Fabric – a bespoke sofa, upholstered using photos of visitors’ faces.

Lee Newton, managing director of show organiser’s Media 10, added: “The overwhelming success of Grand Designs Live shows that the exhibition industry is still buoyant, so long as organisers continue to deliver quality events with relevant content, first class exhibitors and interactive features.

“In a week that has seen some of the worst economic news for decades, we have delivered an incredible show with thousands more visitors than last year and have seen exhibitor satisfaction levels rocket. It all goes to show that the Grand Designs Live brand is continuing to grow and grow.
“We also believe that the show’s success is due in part to the massive savings that the self build market offers. Self build seems to be the only way out of the current housing slump.”

Peter Sumner, managing director of Warwickshire-based Boule Gazon, was typical of many of the exhibitors praising the event, when he said: “Throughout the entire show, we had a fantastic time at Grand Designs Live. There was a really positive vibe from the visitors which reinforces that the current trend is to make the most of what you have.”
Grand Designs Live returns to London next year at ExCeL London, from 25 April to 4 May.

For further information, visit www.granddesignslive.com.

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