NEC Staffers Make Way For Hotel

Nearly 400 employees at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Center in England are being moved out of their offices because the building’s being converted into a new hotel.

The headquarters building on The NEC site and related land are set to be sold on a long leasehold to Alfred McAlpine, which will carry out the redevelopment.

The staff will relocate to the offices above the main exhibition center buildings.

The deal, which is conditional on a successful planning application and other technical issues, will generate an undisclosed “substantial sum” for The NEC Group and Birmingham City Council.

Some of the cash will be invested in new office facilities and upgraded conference suites.

The 50,000-square-foot Bickenhill Lane building, on 2.3 acres of land, will be turned into a Ramada Encore Hotel, which is expected to open for business in 2008.

The site is ideal for a hotel development as it’s next to the NEC complex, Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International Station.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the NEC is Europe’s busiest exhibition center, staging about 160 exhibitions each year.

The 12,500-capacity The NEC Arena stages live music and sporting events that attract more than 1 million visitors a year.

– John Gammon