The Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre is set to become the pre-eminent events venue in South East England, building on Farnborough’s firmly-established reputation as a business events destination and home to the most famous Airshow in the world.
Officially announcing the name, look and feel of the new venue for the first time, Farnborough International’s CEO Shaun Ormrod said; “This is a new and incredibly exciting phase in Farnborough’s long, pioneering history. We have already established the quality and reliability of the Farnborough Airshow experience in a permanent venue. Now we are ready to take it to the next level with a state-of-the-art new facility that reflects both our aviation heritage and our modernity at the same time. I am confident that Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre will become one of the foremost event venues not just in the UK but throughout the world.”
Ormrod unveiled a new logo design to be used consistently across Farnborough International’s suite of event services which features an “airbridge” graphic inspired by Farnborough’s history of aerodynamics and the flow of air over aircraft wings.
Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre’s innovative building design also reflects the airbridge theme. Developed by the architects Terance O’Rourke, the look and feel of the structure draws heavily on Farnborough’s association with aircraft testing and development in Farnborough’s famous wind tunnels, as well as reflecting the modern-day look of local buildings such as the neighbouring Aviator hotel.
When complete, Farnborough’s new purpose-built event space will be flexible enough to cater for almost any kind of exhibition, conference, meeting, dinner or launch event thanks to 12,500sqm of exhibition space, 2,500 conference seats and fourteen multiple purpose-built function rooms.
Today’s announcement follows the successful securing of £30m in funding for the project and the recent appointment of Michael Watton as Farnborough International’s new Venue Director earlier this year. Watton will oversee the development and expansion of Farnborough’s event and venue business, including its existing and new event spaces.
Michael Watton said; “This part of the country has long been crying out for a large purpose-built event space with easy access to London, Gatwick and Heathrow. The flexibility and scale of our existing and new event space will make Farnborough attractive to any event organiser whether it’s a membership-based conference with exhibition space or a major exhibition with a requirement for seminar or workshop space. And with 2,500 hotel rooms now within a fifteen minute drive, Farnborough will be incredibly well placed to host regional, national and international events delivered with Airshow quality and a committed team.”
The Member of Parliament for Aldershot, Sir Gerald Howarth, said; “Farnborough International is the most renowned airshow in the world. The people of Farnborough (the birthplace of British aviation) are proud to be associated with this event which brings benefit to the local economy, provides UK companies with an unrivalled showcase, and facilitates international trade to the worldwide aerospace and defence communities. Investment in the newly planned Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre will further enhance the quality of the show when it next takes place in 2018.”
Mark Ashton, General Manager Aviator added; “We are proud to be working in close partnership with Farnborough International and look forward to the opening of the new venue in 2018. The Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre will be a wonderful addition to the region, driving local economic growth and attracting more national and international visitors. As the headquarters hotel, Aviator welcomes the opportunity to deliver first class hospitality and accommodation to the venue’s visitors and a seamless door-to-door experience.”
The Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, Councillor Peter Moyle, said: “We are delighted to welcome this latest phase in the growth of Farnborough which is bringing another hugely exciting development to Rushmoor.
“We are proud to see such an extraordinary and pioneering project in our borough and wish the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre every success in the future. The venue will no doubt very quickly become one of the most iconic and well-known buildings not just in our area but throughout the rest of the country too.”
Work on the new venue is expected to begin immediately following the end of the 2016 Farnborough International Public Airshow which takes place from 16-17 July (Trade Show 11-15 July).