The International Convention Centre (ICC) Birmingham claims to have contributed £1.4bn (calculated by KPMG) to Birmingham’s economy since opening its doors on 2 April 1991.
Managing Director Nick Waight has been with the ICC from the very beginning, joining the team as an Account Manager at the age of 22, and describes it as “a real honour” to be part of the ICC legacy. “The building,” he says, “has been a catalyst for many local businesses, which have been able to grow as a result of the economic benefit our industry brings to the city.
“Over the last 21 years we have hosted over 6,000 events, which translates into over 330,000 delegate days a year.”
The ICC Birmingham portfolio of clients includes some of the biggest corporate businesses of today, such as Mercedes, Lexus, KPMG and Walmart.
“We have also had the privilege of hosting all of the major party conferences, as well as the G8 Summit in 1998,” Waight says. “The Conservative Party Conference in 2010 alone produced a staggering £47m direct economic impact for the city.”
The ICC has hosted 110 international conferences since 1991.
Sir Bernard Zissman, ex-Lord Mayor of Birmingham, who led the team which developed the International Convention Centre and Symphony Hall in the mid 1980s, says: “I am very proud to have led the team which developed the concept of the ICC and Symphony Hall and was successful in convincing Birmingham City Council to support the initiative.
“The feasibility study which was carried out to support the development and building of the venue saw considerable economic benefit, but it was nowhere near what has actually been achieved.
“One of the main purposes of the ICC was to provide a new industry for Birmingham which employed people, and not machinery, as at the time Birmingham’s manufacturing industry was in clear decline and there was a growing number of youth unemployment.
“The ICC was one of the first new buildings to be built in Birmingham, and I truly believe it was the seed for the regeneration and development of Birmingham we have seen take place over the years. The ICC saw the birth of Brindley Place and the hundreds of hotels and restaurants in the city, supporting over 50,000 jobs today.”
Ian Taylor, Commercial Director at Marketing Birmingham, the city’s strategic marketing partnership which operates Meet Birmingham, adds: “The ICC’s role in the city’s continuing success as a top conference and events destination cannot be underestimated.
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