Council aiming to buy G-Mex

Manchester City Council is in negotiations to acquire the G-Mex exhibition and convention centre with plans to expand the complex facilities and attract more high-profile business.

Currently 48% of the 12,500sqm exhibition venue is owned by insurance company Aviva, with the remainder owned by Modesole, a company controlled by the 10 district councils of Greater Manchester.

"It makes sound financial sense for us to buy G-Mex and work with other stakeholders such as Marketing Manchester to ensure the exhibition and conference business brings maximum economic benefits to the city," said Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein.

The venue opened in 1986 having previously served as a train station until 1969. It was recently chosen to host the Labour Party Conference in 2006 and the council hopes to attract similar high-profile events following the acquisition.

G-Mex general manager David Mallard said: "The acquisition of the venue by Manchester City Council will go on to greatly enhance the conference and exhibition business for the city. This is an excellent proposition for both the venue and Manchester and one that we fully support. The venue will sit better under the City Council ownership and will bring closer ties with Marketing Manchester."

A report outlining the council's proposals was put forward to the city's top-level executives last month and a final decision is expected to be made before the end of July.

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