Birmingham City Council and The NEC Group have launched the NEC Masterplan and unveiled plans for the development of the NEC Campus in Solihull, a town in the West Midlands, England.
The site accommodates the NEC, its sister venue Genting Arena, Resorts World Birmingham and the recently-opened Merlin visitor attraction, Bear Grylls Adventure. More than seven million people visit these places every year.
The NEC Masterplan involves the redevelopment of 75 hectares of land creating 315,000m² of new floorspace, generating up to 10,000 new jobs and the construction of 2,500 new homes.
Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward said: “I am delighted to launch this Masterplan which sets out a radical vision for the transformation of the NEC campus which will not only see the Midlands International appeal and global position strengthened but also bring huge economic benefits to our local communities.”
Recently, the NEC Group has been sold to private equity funds managed by Blackstone, and as part of the original sale of the NEC Group in 2015, the city council retained a freehold interest in the land at the Solihull site.
NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi said: “With the backing of our new majority shareholder, Blackstone, we have ambitious plans to develop our business further. The Masterplan is an important element of that expansion and builds on the excellent progress we have made over the last few years towards creating a truly world-class business, entertainment and leisure destination.”
The NEC Group has more than 40 years of experience in venue and destination management.
The group has announced an £8.5m transformation of the NEC campus with digital displays and a facelift for the exterior of exhibition halls that can be backlit to stunning effect.
The Bear Grylls Adventure, operated by Merlin Entertainments, opened in October 2018 and a 224-bedroom Moxy Hotel, currently under construction, is due to open in mid-2019.
Image: The NEC Campus in Solihull, West Midlands, England. Photo: Courtesy of Birmingham City Council.