10 October 2012
The Prime Minister helps Birmingham’s ICC and Symphony Hall celebrate 21 years of award-winning conference business and outstanding live music enjoyed by over 10 million people.
Proud staff met with Prime Minister, David Cameron MP yesterday during the Conservative Party Conference at the ICC. Mr Cameron unveiled a commemorative plaque marking 21 years since the ICC and Symphony Hall were officially opened by HM The Queen in 1991.
Since opening, the ICC has contributed £1.4 billion to the regional economy and is widely celebrated as an important driver in Birmingham’s regeneration and renaissance.
Symphony Hall is universally recognised as one of the finest concert halls in the world and has welcomed over 10 million visitors and has presented in excess of 7,500 performances, concerts and events in its 21 year history.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Both the ICC and Symphony Hall are world class venues, which benefit Birmingham both economically and culturally. I am very pleased to be able to mark this occasion during the Conservative Party conference."
David Cameron will deliver his closing speech to the conference from Symphony Hall on Wednesday (10th).
Paul Thandi, Chief Executive of the NEC Group of which the ICC is part of, said: “The foundations were laid in 1987 for this ambitious £200m project that became one of Birmingham’s new iconic buildings and the NEC Group is very proud that the ICC and Symphony Hall exceeded their potential as catalysts for the regeneration of the city.
“The ICC has proven time and again over its 21 years what can be achieved by vision, professionalism and expertise. We have a great team at the ICC, many of whom have been with the venue since it opened and we have built an award-winning reputation for excellence. This has helped Birmingham reinvent itself from a city that was reliant on the manufacturing industry to a vibrant, cosmopolitan hub with a highly respected and flourishing service sector industry today.”
Andrew Jowett OBE, chief executive of Town Hall and Symphony Hall, said: “In 21 years, Symphony Hall has made a significant contribution to the cultural and social fabric of the City of Birmingham, as well as firmly claiming its place on the global music map. We bring the best musicians and performers in the world to Birmingham, underpinning the city’s international reputation as well as connecting audience members to music in their millions. And though best known as one of the world’s great concert halls, Symphony Hall also offers a stunning and unique backdrop for speeches and presentations. 2012 has been a fantastic year for Symphony Hall, and we are delighted the Prime Minister has chosen to help us celebrate this significant milestone.”
Mr Cameron met with Paul Thandi, Andrew Jowett and Nick Waight, managing director of the ICC together with members of staff from the venue, which is currently hosting the Conservative Party Conference for the third time in five years.
Nick Waight said: “The ICC is the UK’s leading conference centre and welcomes over 400 events and 300,000 delegates each year, contributing £85m to the regional economy and supporting 2,000 jobs in the service and leisure industry.
“Over the last 21 years, the ICC has welcomed 6,000 events which translates into over 7 million delegate days. The venue has hosted many high-profile events including the G8 Summit and more recently six political party conferences, in addition to some of the biggest corporate names including Mercedes, Lexus, Specsavers, Lloyds and Asda.”
The 2,200 seat Symphony Hall opened in Birmingham to critical acclaim in 1991. Since then, artists including Bruce Springsteen, Yehudi Menuhin, Liza Minnelli, Jean Michel Jarre, Lang Lang, Morrissey, Grace Jones, Ravi Shankar and many of the world’s greatest soloists and orchestras have graced its stage. Symphony Hall now welcomes 500,000 people to 600 events each year alongside Grade I listed sister venue Town Hall.