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National Exhibition Centre

The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) is a the seventh largest exhibition centre in Europe, located in Solihull, near Birmingham, England. It is near junction 6 of the M42 motorway, and is adjacent to Birmingham International Airport and Birmingham International Railway Station. It has 20 inter-connected halls, set in 628 acres.

The NEC Arena, host to large music concerts, is part of the complex.

Together, The NEC and The NEC Arena host over 4 million visitors each year.


In November 1971, the Secretary of State for the Environment granted outline planning approval for the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

The NEC, originally comprising 89,000m sq. of exhibition space, was opened by the Queen in February 1976.

In 1989, the Queen opened three further halls, increasing the space to 125,000m sq.

Four more halls were added in 1993, the total exhibition space increasing to 158,000m sq.

Another four new halls, opened in September 1998 by The Right Honourable Neil Kinnock, European Commissioner for Transport, took the total space to 190,000m sq.

NEC Group

The parent NEC Group also runs the National Indoor Arena and International Convention Centre, both in central Birmingham. The later houses Symphony Hall, a concert venue.

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