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International Convention Center In Birmingham

The International Convention Centre or ICC as it is generally known is one of England’s major conference venues and is situated in central Birmingham. The building contains eleven halls and has a total capacity for eight thousand delegates, with the largest hall holding some three thousand of these. The Birmingham Symphony Hall is also housed within the ICC.

The building also has a second entrance/exit leading to and from the Birmingham Canal system.

The foundation stone for the building was laid by Jacques Delors, the then 8th President of the European Commission and so commenced a site construction program lasting some four years and five months, using a workforce of fifteen hundred and the laying of some sixty thousand cubic meters of concrete which was, apart from small quantities, not hand-mixed we would hasten to add.

The cost of the work was £200 million with the European Council funding £49.7 million of this figure and the building was officially opened by the Queen in 1991.

The Convention Centre was partly constructed on the site of the old Bingley Hall, the world’s first purpose-built exhibition hall which was opened in 1850 and burnt down in 1984.

The ICC stages in excess of 400 conferences and related events and meetings each year. As one of the UK’s leading conference centers, it has earned a reputation for both quality and excellence.

As a matter of interest the ICC, in 1998, was the central point for the G8 Meeting of World Leaders from Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom and in 2008 the Labour Party held the first Party Political Conference there. The International Convention Centre is part of the now world-famous NEC Group which also includes the National Exhibition Centre, National Indoor Arena, and LG Arena.

Birmingham Today

Birmingham City Council is the largest European council and the second-largest local authority in the UK. It has some 120 councilors representing 40 wards. The council’s headquarters are in Birmingham’s Victoria Square. Birmingham currently has eleven parliamentary constituencies.

The City Council also funds, supports, and organizes numerous events and activities throughout the year. Birmingham’s tourism plays an important role in the local economy and with the major facilities of the International Convention Centre and the National Exhibition Centre, the Birmingham area accounts for approximately 42% of the UK conference and exhibition trade. Birmingham’s cultural and sporting venues also attract a large number of UK and foreign visitors.

Birmingham, from a business point, was once known as the “City of a Thousand Trades” however, such trades have gradually diminished with some 70 – 80% of Birmingham businesses now being mainly service orientated. Birmingham businesses covering Finance, Investment, Insurance, Commodities, Consultancies, Support Services, etc., are on the increase, so are Employment Agencies who are now mainly acting on behalf of clients with professional qualifications, plus of course the ex graduates from Birmingham’s three universities.

Such Birmingham businesses should always be fortunate to have qualified graduates knocking on their doors and should, therefore, never be short of such personnel seeking employment for the first time. Such people, not being tainted in the ways of previous employers, should be ideal for all those employers wishing to train new blood in ways beneficial to their own companies.

Birmingham’s main advantage over the likes of London is its central location, which is easily accessed by major roads and motorways, including perhaps the best-known motorway junction in the UK, Spaghetti Junction. It is also well served by the Inter-City rail network, with Birmingham’s main railway station, New Street Station being at the center of this network, and also by air via Birmingham International Airport. Birmingham’s more affordable and quality office space and just as important for drivers, it’s more than adequate parking facilities which generally are available throughout Birmingham. All these key business points put Birmingham in the front line of UK cities as the most popular area for service organizations.

For employees living in or near Birmingham, local transport in the form of buses, trams, and local trains is readily available. There is also a terminus at Snow Hill Station for the Midland Metro which links Birmingham to Wolverhampton and serves nearby towns of Bilston, Wednesbury, and West Bromwich.

Birmingham also has an extensive system of canals and is said to have more miles of canals than Italy’s Venice. Recent regeneration schemes have turned the canals into tourist attractions. Birmingham also benefits greatly from the local National Exhibition Centre and its numerous trade shows, which take place throughout the year. For Birmingham businesses wishing to use trade stands, their expenditure in displaying stands, plus the obvious transportation costs are far less than those businesses having to transport their wears from locations further afield.

For those people considering an employment move to Birmingham, there are properties to suit all pockets and employment status, either for sale or rent and within or in close proximity to Birmingham. For those looking beyond the Birmingham business and property arenas, we have considered and provided information below regarding the various leisure activities, professional sport viewing, theatres, museums, education, places of interest, parks, etc., that are available locally or in close proximity to Birmingham.

You Need To Check Out Birmingham For A Holiday

View of the Birmingham skyline including the church of St Martin, the Bullring shopping centre and the outdoor market. Birmingham, England, UK, Western Europe

With the seaside remaining the traditional, popular United Kingdom holiday getaway, many holiday-makers never look beyond the beachfront to see what other great alternatives are out there for an end-of-Summer getaway.

Let’s face it, the fantasy of deserted golden beaches, fun in the sea and relaxing bar-b-ques with the family are more akin to travel agents’ brochures than reality. If, like so many others, you’ve done the United Kingdom beach holiday in the past, more often than not the experience revolves around bored children, overcrowded beaches, overpriced, sand in your pants, and the constant worry of sunburn; not exactly the perfect way to spend relaxing quality time with the family, is it?

“So what else is there for a fun-loving family to do?”, I hear you asking.

Breaking with tradition and heading for a major city may not seem, at first, like a great way to get away from the stress of modern life. City breaks, although not offering the sea air and sound of the surf rolling up the beach, in some ways offer far more. Take Birmingham as an example: there is a wide range of activities to keep everyone entertained, and with some exceptional early booking deals available from the likes of Travelodge and other popular UK hotel chains, a week-long city break could work out cheaper than a trip to the seaside.

In terms of entertainment and places of interest, here are just a few examples of what can be found in and around Britain’s Second City, Birmingham:

Cadbury World: Opened on 14th August 1990, and remains the only purpose-built visitor center in the UK devoted entirely to chocolate. If you want to stay in the good books of your wife or partner, be sure to include this on the tourist trail.

Sea Life Center: Fancy diving beneath the sea without getting your hair wet? At the Sea Life Center, you’ll come face to face with everything from shrimps to giant sea turtles, and learn tons of great stuff from Sea Life experts. Hey, how does coming face to face with the UK’s first Hammerhead sharks sound?

The Birmingham Hippodrome: This famous venue offers something for everyone. Treat the family to an evening of entertainment with some of the biggest-named shows around.

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses: This 15-acre oasis of horticultural delight opened to subscribers in 1832. Today, you will find beauty, peace, and tranquillity combined with excellent visitor facilities for the whole family.

ThinkTank: This most modern science museum lets visitors investigate everything from full-size locomotives and aircraft to intestines and taste buds. There’s also the awe-inspiring, truly breathtaking planetarium for any amateur astronomers out there.

IMAX Theatre: Jaw-dropping and spectacular, that’s the IMAX Cinema at Millennium Point (in the same building as ThinkTank). It’s by far the largest movie screen in the Midlands – as high as a five-story building and as wide as four buses. It’s also got 3D technology to bring the action right to the very tip of your nose.

Visit Birmingham

As England’s Second City, Birmingham can, apart from the sea, offer virtually everything that any tourist is looking for. It has easy access from anywhere in the world with its Birmingham International Airport operating within easy distance of the city. There are motorway links in abundance from anywhere in the country in the form of the M1, M5, M6, and M42 all linking to other motorways on route to Birmingham. Its intercity rail link also provides access to Birmingham, from effectively all major English, Scottish and Welsh cities.

For the swimmers, although Birmingham has no sea, there are well-established swimming amenities available in the City.

For visitors interested in Birmingham’s nightlife it offers Pubs, Bars, Clubs, Night Clubs and Restaurants in abundance, and without doubt, if that’s your inclination, the place to start your search for this type of evening entertainment would be Broad Street.

If you do venture into Broad Street, have a look at the gilded bronze memorial statue of the famous trio, Boulton, Watt, and Murdoch, three individuals who played a major role in the 1700’s Industrial Revolution.

Also walk side by side with Broad Street’s famous Walk of Stars, including Lenny Henry, Frank Skinner, Julie Walters, Jasper Carrot, Noddy Holder, and Ozzy Osbourne. To view, all the celebrities awarded a place in the Birmingham Walk of Stars, don’t look up, look down as the names are incorporated in the paved footways on both sides of Broad Street. Currently, you should find sixteen specially named inlaid stones, however, as more celebrities have been nominated, this number will, without doubt, increase.

For the food cognisors amongst us, Birmingham can offer restaurants, including Michelin Star award winners in the shape of Purnell’s, Turner’s, and Simpson’s, plus restaurants offering food from all quarters of the world. It also has a vibrant Chinese Quarter offering numerous mouth-watering dishes, in the shape of a la carte, buffet, or set menus. For those who are simply British in their choice of food, you will not be disappointed in its availability.

There are numerous hotels, to suit all pockets, offering full board, half board, and bed & breakfast, these range from penthouse suites to the standard and simple family rooms. For the keep fit fanatics amongst us, there are also hotels offering a wide range of fitness choices, including spa, swimming, tennis, and other keep-fit activities.

Most offer either onsite parking facilities or local car parking in secure areas, with some hotels even covering the parking fees. On arrival, if you don’t fancy driving from your accommodation, there are excellent bus and taxi services readily available for your Visit Birmingham tour.

For those away supporters visiting Birmingham to watch Premiership Football at Villa Park or Birmingham City, St Andrews, County or International Cricket at Edgbaston, Speedway at Birmingham Brummies, or Championship League Rugby Union at Moseley and also Birmingham & Solihull, International Tennis Tournaments at the Priory or International Golf at the Belfry, why not make a long weekend of it and Visit Birmingham, its nightlife and/or anything else that takes your fancy?

With shopping available to suit all pockets, Birmingham is a shopper’s paradise offering numerous department stores, high street shops, and shopping malls in abundance with the likes of Selfridges, Debenhams, Arcadian, House of Fraser, Bhs, Primark, The Palisades, The Great Western Arcade, The Mail Box, one of the city’s premier shopping, lifestyle and restaurant location with over fifty exclusive stores, restaurants, café bars and hotels to choose from. The Bull Ring shopping center and its adjacent markets are also well worth a visit. Also, have a venture around the Custard Factory a short walk from the Bull Ring.

For those looking for things to do and see, why not try the National Sea Life Centre, The Ikon Contemporary Art Gallery, Millennium Point, which celebrates Science, Technology, and Education, also in the same building is the IMAX Cinema and Think Tank, with four floors of interactive displays, the most modern of science museums and its Planetarium is a paradise for the inquiring minds of today’s young children and teenagers. For the artists and art lovers, there is also the Barber Institute of Fine Arts featuring works from the 13th to 20th century, including Old Masters and Impressionist collections.

Before your visit why not check out what shows are on offer throughout Birmingham at such venues as the National Indoor Arena, the Symphony Hall, with its world-famous acoustics, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham’s Alexandra Theatre, the Birmingham Hippodrome, the LG Arena, the Old Repertory Theatre, the Birmingham Town Hall, Birmingham’s O2 Academy, the numerous events on offer at the National Exhibition Centre and the various and varied events organized and arranged annually by Birmingham City Council and then plan your visit to Birmingham accordingly?