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March 22, 2009
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UK political party to hold two conferences in Birmingham




The Liberal Democrats have announced that they will hold their Spring 2010 and Autumn 2011 conferences in Birmingham.

The NEC Group, working in partnership with Birmingham City Council, Marketing Birmingham and West Midlands Police secured the two-year deal with the UK political party to bring the events to the ICC, generating an estimated £11 million for the regional economy.
 
The announcement follows the success of two major political party conferences held in Birmingham in the last twelve months and will once again fix the eyes of the media and business leaders firmly on Birmingham.
 
The Spring conference, taking place in March 2010, is expected to attract more than 2,000 delegates to the city and the Autumn conference in September 2011 approximately 6,000.  The announcement will be welcomed by Birmingham’s business community, providing a boost to hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, transport providers and other businesses involved in the event supply chain, as well as acting as a showcase for the city.
 
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said:  “I am really pleased that our party conferences will be coming to Birmingham next year and in 2011.
 
“As well as the world class facilities available at the ICC, Liberal Democrat members attending will have the pleasure of visiting the best of Birmingham’s cafés, shops and restaurants.
 
“Birmingham City Council should be applauded for their effort in attracting big conferences and events to the city which will provide such a welcome boost to the city’s economy during the tough months ahead.”
 
The ICC will provide the venue for both conferences, offering world-class facilities in the heart of Birmingham city centre.
 
Councillor Paul Tilsley, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council and Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Birmingham, said: “Nick Clegg has been to Birmingham and seen for himself what a fantastic city this is - I have been promoting the city to him and our excellent reputation for hosting world-class events.
 
“This decision by the Liberal Democrats is a massive endorsement for the city, cementing our position on the political conference circuit. Birmingham is an internationally important city and recognition on the world stage is continually growing. This will also build on the Local Government Liberal Democrat conferences successfully held at The ICC in 2007 and 2008.”
 
Meanwhile, Nick Waight, managing director, group convention centres at the NEC Group, said:  “We are exceptionally pleased that the Liberal Democrats have chosen the ICC as the venue for their 2010 and 2011 conferences, reinforcing our position as the UK’s leading conference centre. Our team at the ICC are experts in every element of event delivery and having hosted two major political conferences last year are perfectly placed to ensure that the Liberal Democrats enjoy two truly world-class events.”
 
Marketing Birmingham negotiated the deal using a dedicated subvention fund awarded by Birmingham City Council for the sole purpose of attracting major events to the city.
 
Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, said:  “The success of the Labour and Conservative conferences last year has undoubtedly helped to establish the city’s reputation as a place to host these kind of events.  They’re good for the local economy and attract the kind of media that doesn’t often get out of London.
 
“We are keeping our foot on the gas into 2009 and will welcome the British Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference to the ICC in April and the 100th Rotary International Convention to the NEC in June, bringing with it up to 20,000 visitors from more than 130 different countries.”


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