The NEC in Birmingham has been sold, but organisers of the two major equestrian events held at the venue have confirmed it will be “business as usual” for them.
Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and BETA International have reassured fans and the equestrian trade that there will be no change for 2015.
The exhibition centre has been home to the annual British Equestrian Trade Association’s trade fair — BETA International — for the past 20 years. It is held at the NEC every February and attracts influential buyers and suppliers from across the UK and overseas, and is famed for its premier business and networking opportunities.
“The sale of the NEC is good news for exhibitors and visitors. It ensures a secure future for the venue and its long-time clients,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas
This year’s event runs from 22-24 February and will show off new products and give retailers and manufacturers the chance to meet the people behind the brands.
In October (7-11 October) HOYS goes to Birmingham. The show, which hosts top showing, showjumping as well as the Pony Club Prince Philip Cup mounted games, displays and hundreds of shops, will remain unaltered as well.
“There has been no change regarding Horse of the Year Show and we will continue to run as per normal at the venue,” a spokesman for organisers Grandstand told H&H.
Birmingham City Council has sold the NEC Group to LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Bank and the deal includes a 125-year lease on the NEC site.
The NEC Group also includes Birmingham’s International Convention Centre and Barclaycard Arena, is being added to LDC’s portfolio of more than 80 businesses across the UK.
Council leader Sir Albert Bore described it as a “landmark deal”, which would see the business go from “strength to strength”.