Union reveals plans for major Birmingham conference centre

The country’s largest trade union
has unveiled plans for a £35m conference centre in England’s second biggest
city.

Unite
the Union’s conference centre  at Birmingham Science Park Aston would
offer 4,250sqm of conference and
meeting space capable of holding up to 1,000 delegates.

A
seven-storey hotel on the same site would contain 170 bedrooms above reception
areas, and a restaurant.  An adjoining five-storey building would contain 5,133sqm of office accommodation for
around 225 staff from Unite.

According
to plans submitted to Birmingham City Council, the two buildings would be
connected at the lower levels on the 2.2-acre site in the Eastside area of the
city.

Known
as ’Holt Court’, the site comprises four office buildings grouped around a
landscaped courtyard and the most southerly of these will be demolished to make
way for the development.

A
design statement from architecture practice Consarc said: “The Eastside agenda
seeks to redevelop, reinvigorate and re-link to the city centre what has until
recently been seen as a run down and neglected area of the city.

“On
the opposite side of Jennens Road is the northern edge of Eastside Locks, a new
development area that includes the locally listed Co-op building and which will
extend regeneration alongside the disused canal.

“The
site was formerly an area of 18th and 19th century domestic and small-scale
industrial buildings, whose expansion was supported by the construction of the
canal in 1790. Despite redevelopment, much of the original street pattern
remains.

“By
positioning the building here, the union hopes to significantly contribute to
the emerging community and firmly believes it will benefit from the expertise
and skills prevalent to the area.”

A
spokesman for the union told CN: “The project will be to build Unite’s
national education, training and conference centre. It will be able to host
conferences of up to 1,000 delegates and will be the new home of West Midlands
Regional Office. On the same site, a 170 bedroom hotel will also be built.”

 Do
you have a story for CN? Email: John Keenan

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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