Birmingham is getting ready to host the Liberal Democrats’ autumn conference when it returns to the city this month.
The party will hold its autumn event at The ICC from 17 – 21 September, with the city welcoming an estimated 8,000 delegates and more than 1600 of the UK’s media. The event is set to contribute up to £12million to the local economy. This is the second time the city has hosted the Liberal Democrat Party Conference following its spring event last year. It is the seventh party conference the city has hosted in the last four years.
The successful ‘Team Birmingham’ approach, which brings together the city’s leading companies and agencies to host major events, has been deployed in preparation for the autumn conference. Partners such as Birmingham City Council, Marketing Birmingham, The NEC Group, West Midlands Police, Broad Street BID, Brindleyplace, Centro, The Hyatt Regency, City Centre Partnership and others have been working closely to ensure the event delivers maximum benefit to the city.
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 and opportunities 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 £20 million in economic impact while media coverage was valued at an estimated £29million.”
With 8,000 delegates and the country’s media set to descend on Birmingham, the opportunity for its visitor economy, including its restaurants, hotels and shops is significant.
Mike Olley, from the Broad Street Business Improvement District (BID), which manages this popular visitor area’s offer, said:
“Birmingham’s visitor numbers reached a high of 32.8million in last year, helping boost the value of its visitor economy to £4.6billion. Major events such as political conferences, which the city has a real track record of hosting successfully, play a key role in bringing influential visitors and media to the city.
“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.”
The ICC will be closed to the general public from Thursday 15th September, reopening Thursday 22nd September at 7am. Broad Street and Brindleyplace will remain open for business as usual, with some traffic restrictions in place. A public information letter has been distributed to local residents and businesses to communicate all restrictions that will be in place. It is also available on www.libdemsinbirmingham2011.com.