The conference and exhibition centre will no longer be relocating, as per original plans
EventCity has withdrawn its plans to relocate next year, with the conference and exhibition centre now set to close permanently.
A home to many major events - from the Ideal Home Show to Winter Funland - EventCity was due to move into a purpose-built venue on the nearby Soccerdome site (whose former occupants Five Soccer will be getting a brand new £2 million centre) as part of a TraffordCity masterplan that will see its own humongous 28-acre spot become a wellbeing water resort in 2022/3.
However it was announced today (Thursday) that the relocation plans have now been pulled due to the devastating impact of coronavirus.
In a statement, owners Peel L&P said: ‘EventCity's business strategy throughout the COVID-19 crisis has been focussed on the health, safety and wellbeing of our people, while protecting as many jobs as possible during this exceptionally challenging period.
‘In recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that the depth of the economic contraction, particularly in the events and hospitality sectors, is far more extreme than anyone could have envisaged.
‘Regrettably, we have had to take the decision to close EventCity by 31st March 2021 and withdraw our plans for a new facility, which were approved by Trafford Council in February of this year.
‘Our immediate priority is to ensure the events we have contracted will go ahead until (March). The team have been working hard to follow government guidelines ensuring our reopening plans adhere to strict protocols set out by a variety of standards and leading industry bodies.
‘A reduced team will operate the events until closure takes place and we will be working with colleagues to support them through this period. The economic uncertainties should in no way undermine the extraordinary commitment and loyalty our colleagues have shown during these most testing times.
‘We would like to thank you for your support and commitment over the years and we wish you all the best for the future.’
A consultation process has been launched with staff; it is understood that around 20 roles will be affected.
The EventCity announcement comes just a day after PM Boris Johnson announced the reopening of conference centres - previously scheduled for October - may be delayed due to rising cases of COVID-19, along with sports stadiums.
In April, the city centre’s largest events and conferences venue Manchester Central become a temporary ‘Nightingale Hospital’ - part of a nationwide scheme to help manage the pandemic - and will remain so for at least the duration of 2020.