THE first steps have been taken in creating a new multi-million-pound convention centre at Ricoh Arena with the start of a major refurbishment project.
Work has begun to transform the existing 1,750sq metre conference and exhibition space in the lower halls at the Coventry venue and marks the first stage of construction in the creation of the state-of-the-art Commonwealth Convention Centre.
Sarah Windrum, Chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “This construction work marks the start of the refurbishment of the lower halls which, along with the creation of the Commonwealth Convention Centre starting in the autumn, will be a significant addition to the area’s conference and exhibitions market.
“It is vital we attract delegates to the city and wider region both during UK City of Culture and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and beyond to secure the long-term prosperity of our area.”
The newly refurbished halls are the first part of further construction later in the year, with work expected to commence in September.
This will include the pavilion entrance on the south side of the venue, the new Commonwealth Convention Centre lobby and dedicated art and gallery space to showcase local projects and act as a community gathering point.
Transformation of the existing halls at the Arena is funded through the £3.8 million granted to the venue by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), via the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) as part of the Government’s Getting Building Fund.