NEC Boosts Local Economy

The U.K.’s NEC Group of venues contributes more than £2 billion per year to the regional economy and supports 29,000 jobs, according to international auditors and tax advisers KPMG.

A report released June 2 shows the four-venue complex has significantly increased its positive impact on West Midlands finances since a 2004 study found it was generating £1.3 billion and providing 22,000 jobs.

The year-long survey that began April 2007 studied the spending patterns of visitors, exhibitors, technical staff and event organisers at the NEC’s exhibitions, conferences and concerts.

It estimates the group supports 28,800 full-time equivalent jobs (17,700 direct and 11,100 indirect). Seventy percent of visitors to the four venues – The National Exhibition Centre and NEC Arena in Solihull and The National Indoor Arena and International Convention Centre in Birmingham – come from outside the region and bring significant business and leisure funds into the West Midlands.

NEC Group chief Paul Thandi said the creation of a major leisure and entertainment complex, including a large casino, is likely to see further increases in his company’s economic contribution.

The NEC Group has also announced Genting Stanley (Solihull) Ltd. as its partner for the development of an entertainment complex, including a casino, at The NEC site and revealed some of the concept details for the £90 million project.

Genting Stanley is the largest casino operator in the U.K., with more than 40 locations. The company is owned by Genting International, a publicly traded subsidiary of Genting Berhad that operates resorts and casinos around the world.

Although details are still being developed, a spa, hotel, bars and restaurants and a casino, together with other attractions, are all set to feature within the proposed complex.