Conference News:Whitby Welcomes Benefits

By on 30/09/2010 in News

As final preparations take place at the ICC ahead of next week's Conservative Party Conference, Leader of Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby, has issued a warm welcome to delegates and spoken of £30 million worth of benefits the event will bring to the city.

Cllr Whitby said: “I am delighted to issue a warm welcome to the 14,000 visitors including the world's media to the conference, set to descend on Birmingham this week, and would urge them to get out and about to truly experience why the city has become one of the UK's premier major event venues.

“From the world-class facilities on offer at the ICC, to the vibrant bars, restaurants, shops and hotels in the city centre, I have no doubt that they will find Birmingham has everything they could possibly want from a city.

“During these challenging economic times, hosting an event of this scale will also bring great benefits to the residents of Birmingham themselves, with an estimated £15 million set to be spent by delegates in and around the city.

“Add to this the value of jobs and orders placed with local businesses servicing the event, and £13m worth of media coverage which the 2008 event generated, and it is clear to see how valuable to the city events of this magnitude can be.

“For four days we have a unique opportunity to gain unprecedented access to leading figures in Government, big business and the media, and the people of Birmingham should rest assured that we will not rest in our efforts to influence these decision makers and 'sell' them all that is good about Birmingham.

“As the largest of our cities outside London, Birmingham is an indispensable partner to any government. It is also fitting that the Party are holding their first annual conference of the coalition era in a city which has operated so successfully under a 'Progressive Partnership' of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats since 2004.

“What I believe we have shown over the past six years is that such a partnership can not only work, but can in fact excel if managed properly, and I am sure our colleagues from Westminster will be very keen to see for themselves the great strides made in Birmingham during this period.

”I hope the residents of Birmingham will join me, whatever their political persuasion, in welcoming this event to our city for the potential long term benefits it will bring to our economy, quality of life and ability to influence national policy in our favour.”

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