NEC unveils £ 4.5m transformation plan
FAMOUS FACES JOIN ADVENTURER TO OFFICIALLY OPEN NEC THEME PARK
THE NEC has unveiled details of its extensive £ 4.5 million transformation which will completely change the look and feel of the iconic venue.
The site is visited by more than two million people each year, with 500 separate events taking place.
It is a three- year project and the first phase – the exterior of Halls 1 and 5 – began in June.
Kathryn James, Managing Director for NEC Group Conventions and Exhibitions, said: “We have seen our NEC campus change radically over the past three years.
“We began our journey as an exhibition venue, and are now a thriving 24/ 7 business and leisure destination. We are attracting more and more visitors each year as the amazing content hosted by our exhibitions, conferences, live events and attractions, both on campus and within the NEC, develops.”
The NEC site now attracts over seven million visitors each year to the NEC, Genting Arena, Vox conference centre and Resorts World Birmingham. That number is set to grow. Kathryn added: “We have a rich heritage of over 40 years but, whilst the services we deliver have evolved, the exterior of the venue has stayed the same.
“What we fondly call Project Facelift, will give the venue a modern and impactful look.”
The new design will include 37 pyramid translucent structures that can be backlit to create a stunning visual effect. More than £ 4 million has been spent on 185 digital displays.
ACTION man Bear Grylls made the entrance you would expect at the launch of his Solihull theme park.
He abseiled from the back of a mock helicopter.
Then, accompanied by two Royal Marines, he declared The Bear Grylls Adventure at the NEC officially open.
Enjoying the launch were a host of reality TV stars including Love Island’s Charlie Brake and Tina Stinnes from Made in Chelsea.
Also there were singer Jake Quickenden and selfie queen Karen Danczuck.
The new Merlin attraction cost £ 20 million to create and organisers are calling it a ‘ global first adventure attraction’ because it’s so packed with challenges for thrillseekers.
You can go diving, climb Europe’s tallest high ropes course, zip wire from a Chinook, tackle an assault course, break out of an escape room and outwit a survival maze – all in one day.
Bear said: “You don’t have to go to the furthest mountain range or the deepest sea any more, we’ve brought it all under one roof in Birmingham.
“It’s all about t bringing b i i th that t spirit of endeavour into one place.
“This is the UK’s ultimate adventure destination where people can experience so many of the world’s most exciting challenges.”
Basecamp is at the heart of the attraction. It consists of four team and individual challenges which will equip thrillseekers with all the skills they need for any adventure. Created and inspired by Bear’s own military experiences and p past adventures from across the globe, this th is where you’ll start your day. Th Those brave enough wi will race against time to c crack codes, solve puzz zles and find their way out of the themed escape room. Use logic and re resourcefulness to get ou out in record time by findi finding clues and completing me mental challenges with your team. This isn’t any regular escape room – be prepared for some BGstyle surprises if you want to escape! Bear said: “Survival is about making calm, smart decisions under pressure. Get that bit right and the rest will fall into place!”
The new look NEC
Bear Grylls with celebrity guests and members of the Royal Marines during the launch of the Global First Adventure Attraction at the NEC
Actor Warwick Davis experiences the i- Fly attraction at The Bear Grylls Adventure