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NEC invests more than £27 million in 12 months

Birmingham venue makes upgrades as part of a programme focused on enhancing the customer experience

Pictured: The NEC

The NEC has invested £27.4 million over the last 12 months as part of a programme focused on enhancing the customer experience.

The greatest spends have been channelled into improving the catering offer, a lighting upgrade and toilet improvements.

NEC general manager Linda Ritchie said: “We have focused on improvements that help reinforce why we are the venue of choice for our organisers but that also improves the experience our visitors have with us.

“Last summer we invested £7.35m revamping the catering offering in three halls with the launch of The Edge, which provided more dining choices but also brought with it more tills to improve the speed of service. This concept is being rolled out into a further four halls this summer - halls 17-20 are in their final stages of transformation and will be ready to serve our customers next week.

“The NEC has 55 toilet blocks and we were aware that we hadn’t invested in improvement works since 2006, so we took the decision to make a £7.45m investment in a rolling refurbishment programme for all the toilets across the venue. This will make them more fit for purpose for our customers into today’s world, but they will be much easier to maintain and far more environmentally friendly too.

"We have then taken the step to change the sodium lighting in all our halls to LED lighting. This £3.1m investment has removed the orange colour lighting that sodium creates to a fresher and brighter daylight white lighting which shows product more naturally. This not only improves visibility and visual appearance within the halls, but has also increased our energy saving from 60 per cent to 85 per cent.”

Other works currently being completed are external lighting improvements around loading bays and footpaths, improvements to car park signage and kiosk branding and the addition of two new bus stops for shuttle buses around the NEC site.

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