NEC Group faces rival for Solihull casino bid
by Annie Byrne
The NEC Group long-term plans for a £90m casino to be built near the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Solihull are facing competition as Grosvenor Casinos have applied for a license for a similar venture, the Coventry News reports. The rival company has bid for a large casino in Shirley, which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound town centre regeneration scheme. However, the local authority can only approve one scheme and has said that it will approve the bid that represents the greatest “economic, financial and social benefits” to the borough. Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council's Stage One of the casino licence application closed on 31 July 2010.“We have always believed that The NEC site represents a very strong opportunity as a proposed site,” chief operating officer for the NEC Group, John Hornby, tells CN. "A leisure and entertainment complex, incorporating a large casino, at The NEC would provide a vital catalyst for wider investment, which will allow The NEC both to compete on a global scale and continue to support the regional economy by attracting even more visitors to the region."The NEC Group’s bid includes a 150-slot machine casino, hotel, spa, bars and restaurants and is estimated to generate 1,000 local jobs.The Group are partnering with Genting UK for the project. "We look forward to supporting our partners, Genting UK in their application for a large casino license through the Solihull Metropolitan Council competition," he adds.