Cleverdon joins commission

Barry Cleverdon, former chief executive of the NEC, has joined the London International Convention Centre Mayoral Commission.

Cleverdon joins the existing six-member commission, headed by chairman Gerry Acher. "Barry has exceptional experience of working with a company that has an outstanding track record in running both an international conference centre and one of Europe's premier exhibition locations," said Acher. "His expertise will complement those of other commission members."

The commission reiterated the results of its demand study at last month's International Confex exhibition. The study implies that London is likely to lose out to major international rivals, partially as a result of not being able to offer a purpose-built international convention centre.

Understandably, some existing London venues do not relish the prospect of additional competition. But Acher insisted that those venues consulted during the research saw the value of a purpose-built location. "Of course there will be some transference and price competition but they believe this doesn't outweigh the need to have a dedicated centre in London," he said.

Acher further suggested that one of the options that the commission is investigating is extending or developing an existing facility.

The next stage of the process is the completion of the economic impact study scheduled for this month. Final findings are due to be presented to the Mayor of London in April.

Cleverdon was succeeded at the NEC by Andrew Morris late last year (Event, September).

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