Over 12,000 delegates from across the UK will be descending on Birmingham from October 2 to October 5 as the International Convention Centre (ICC) prepares to host the Conservative Party Conference for the fifth time since 2008.
With a new Prime Minister and the Brexit Vote high on the agenda, attendance at the conference by delegates and media is expected to be high, including interest from international media.
Catherine Newhall-Caiger, Business Development Director for the ICC said, “We are looking forward to welcoming the Conservative Party Conference back to the ICC. We have a core team of people that have worked on the four previous Party Conferences and their experience is invaluable for this event. Everyone looks forward to the conference as there is always a real ‘buzz’ in our venue as we welcome the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, delegates, exhibitors and the media to ICC.
“Our dedicated team – from catering to technical and event management to security, have been planning this event for nearly a year and they work extremely hard to deliver the best possible conference. It is very rewarding to see everything come together and it is a real credit to our experienced, professional team that the Conservative Party chooses to return to our venue.”
This year’s conference is the first of a three-year deal that will see the Conservative Party return to the ICC in 2018 and 2020.
The Conservative Party Conference utilises all 10 halls and 10 executive rooms of the purpose built conference centre to stage their conference sessions, exhibition, media centre, fringe sessions, broadcaster centre, catering outlets and VIP Lounges. The ICC’s location in the heart of Birmingham also enables delegates to explore the vibrant city for themselves and providing a platform to demonstrate all that Birmingham has to offer.
As part of the conference, more than 300 fringe events will take place in the flexible venue over the four days. On an annual basis the ICC stages over 350 events in total, so this truly demonstrates the complexity of this conference and the skills of the talented ICC team that deliver such a high volume of events in such a short period.
Conservative Party Chairman Patrick McLoughlin MP said: “We are delighted to be returning to Birmingham for Conservative Party Conference this year. For me it feels a bit like coming home; I grew up a few miles down the road in Cannock and also made my first ever conference address as a Cabinet Minister here.
“Our Party has a long-standing relationship with the ICC and time and again their staff are fantastic hosts which keeps us coming back – we already have two more visits in 2018 and 2020 in the pipeline. Our last Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham generated a £17 million boost for the local economy, and with more fringe events and exhibitors than ever before, we expect it will be even more this year.
“As our new Prime Minister has set out, we are deeply committed to building a country that works for everyone. It is wonderful to see Birmingham thriving and I look forward to our candidate for West Midlands Mayor setting out their plans from the main conference stage, to make this area an even more prosperous and successful part of the country.”
Superintendent Darren Miles, who is leading the operation from West Midlands Police, said: “We are proud to be able to play our part in this event and are confident that we will provide a safe and secure environment for all those who attend the conference and for everyone who lives and works in Birmingham. We will have armed officers on patrol as part of our plans – they are there as a precaution and to provide reassurance.
"I want to stress that there has been no specific intelligence received relating to a threat to the conference and everything we are doing forms part of our safety plans. Members of the public are our eyes and ears in the city and I’d remind anyone who sees anything suspicious, or that causes concern, to speak to one of our officers or call 101 as soon as possible.”