A welcome refurbishment within the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) will get under way in June – including an upgrade to digital services.
An investment of £1.8 million from BCP Council will be used to refresh customer areas within the venue as well as to install new high-tech equipment, lighting, screens and audio technology. The benefit is to grow levels of business in the events and conferencing market – which is well-timed as larger gatherings make a re-appearance and hybrid events become a part of the norm.
The scheme will maintain Bournemouth’s conferencing offer and upgrade facilities in line with other modern venues across the country.
The BIC is owned by BCP Council and operated by BH Live. Opened in 1984 it is one of the largest venues in south of England, playing host to party political conferences and welcoming the biggest names in show business over the years.
Councillor Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Active Health, said:
“Many people know the BIC as a famous venue that sits next to one of the best beaches in the country. How many other places have that? The BIC has drawn in events, conferences and famous artists to our area over the years. It’s a hub to connect people and an attraction for visitors, bringing trade to our tourism, hospitality and retail sectors.”
“People may know that the council has been exploring ideas for a brand new BIC on-site or in the vicinity – and these discussions continue with no final decision yet made. But until any such plan reaches fruition some years into the future, business must go on – and expand. I welcome this investment which will keep Bournemouth on the national circuit in a dynamic and ever-changing market for events.”
Chris Symons, BH Live’s CEO added:
“Over the last five years the conference market has been going through a significant period of change with increased competition and growing requirements for hybrid events. Conference organisers are increasingly selective when choosing host venues so this investment is essential to ensure we can continue attracting top events to the region. This programme of investment will hugely improve the BIC’s market positioning as a conference centre of choice, ensuring it is highly attractive to event organisers and continues to bring in a variety of events to the region. We are really looking forward to completing the works so we can provide an enhanced offer to delegates and visitors.”
Works will be planned around events to minimise disruption and the venue will remain open throughout. Further information and detailing on specific works will be provided in the coming weeks.