The Liberal Democrats’ autumn conference returns to Birmingham’s ICC, 17-21 September, with 8,000 delegates and 1,600 UK media representatives expected.
The event is set to contribute up to £12m to the local economy. This is the second time the city has hosted the Liberal Democrat Party Conference following its spring event last year.
‘Team Birmingham’ has been marshaled to make sure the event delivers maximum benefit to the city. It is a partnership uniting leading companies and agencies in the city such as Birmingham City Council, Marketing Birmingham, The NEC Group, West Midlands Police, Broad Street BID, Brindleyplace, Centro, The Hyatt Regency and City Centre Partnership.
In addition to the main conference programme, Birmingham will host over 500 fringe events, including a series of Team Birmingham events, targeting visiting media, politicians and businesses, and designed to provide a platform for the city to showcase its lead on a number of issues set to arise at conference.
A further 11 Birmingham organisations will be involved in the programme, which will cover themes key to the city’s growth including Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), growing a green economy andopportunities arising from the Government’s decentralisation and deregulation agendas.
Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham has a reputation for being the UK’s meeting place, having hosted seven party conferences in the last four years. Working together the city has shown that it can rise to the challenge of delivering successful events in front of the cameras and boost its reputation as a business and visitor destination.
“With party conferences come influential figures and the UK’s media, particularly when it involves the government of the day, providing a unique opportunity to show the city at its best. The impact of a conference such as this on Birmingham’s profile is significant. The last Conservative Party conference in autumn 2010 contributed £20m in economic impact while media coverage was valued at an estimated £29m.”
Mike Olley, from the Broad Street Business Improvement District (BID), noted Birmingham’s visitor numbers reached a high of 32.8m last year, helping boost the value of its visitor economy to £4.6bn.
“This conference is a fantastic opportunity for Broad Street’s hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues to show off their best side and ensure the conference’s visitors leave the area ready to spread the word about Birmingham as a fantastic place to visit, before returning themselves,” he said.
The ICC will be closed to the general public from Thursday 15 September, reopening 22 September. Broad Street and Brindley Place will remain open for business as usual, with some traffic restrictions in place.
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