NEC gains planning consent to open one of the UK’s largest glamping resorts late 2024

23 February 2024 Ross Watson

The NEC Group has announced that planning consent has been approved to host one of the UK’s largest glamping resorts on its NEC Campus in Solihull. 

Spades are due to go in the ground in the coming months for the site which will be situated by the lake opposite the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Resorts World Arena.

Made up of 59 pods, each will offer a unique staycation option for those visiting campus. With three pod design options to choose from, the site will be able to accommodate a total of 236 guests at a time.

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The site will also benefit from a tailormade app offering state-of-the-art keyless entry, an idyllic over-water communal area, a serene woodland and complimentary golf buggy transport across the resort. 

Part of the transformational strategy for the Group (known as the NEC Masterplan), the move also supports the NEC’s wider diversification strategy, exploring new opportunities that take advantage of the versatile campus. Set to be constructed on previously unused space, the pods further animate Pendigo Lake and will have easy access to the entertainment, business and leisure facilities readily available.

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Andy Cole, Director of Property, Partnerships and Media at the NEC, said: “We’re always trying to push the boundaries in diversifying the use of the NEC Campus to support our core exhibition and arenas business. Our latest addition, in partnership with AvantGlamp, perfectly complements our ambitions to create a competitive 24/7 destination to work, rest, live and play, and adds to the existing destination offer.” 

The glamping resort will also support the NEC Group’s Better Events ESG Plan. The site will work towards carbon neutrality from the outset, with consideration given to material selection, tree protection and replanting, biodiversity and no use of fossil fuels amongst other initiatives.  

Calum MacLeod, Director at AvantGlamp, said: “We are so proud to be launching our latest venture in the glamping industry with our stunning new site at NEC Birmingham. 

“Having a presence in the Midlands makes perfect sense for us and this really is the perfect destination. Being in the heart of the country, as well as having a plethora of leisure and entertainment options on your doorstep, it’s an ideal place to stay. 

“After launching our first glamping site in the Highlands in 2019, our business has gone from strength to strength, and we’re delighted to be able to unveil the largest destination of its kind in the UK. 

“We are looking to push the boundaries of what is possible with AvantGlamp and our flagship resort at the NEC is the perfect place to start.

“The NEC has been a breath of fresh air to work with from start to finish on this phase of the development and we are very excited to maintain that fantastic relationship when we open and beyond.” 

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