Ricoh Arena refurb complete
18th January 2011
Ricoh Arena refurb complete
A MAJOR £3.7 million refurbishment has been completed at the award-winning Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
A nine-month programme to upgrade the conference, exhibition and business facilities for the hundreds of thousands of delegates who attend B2B events at the venue each year has been finished.
The most eye-catching development is the new south entrance which links to the atrium and can be seen by passing motorists on the A444.
Nine new hotel bedrooms have been created in a previously unused section of the building to take the number of rooms to 80.
While the Compass Group remains the main joint venture partner, the hotel has now been rebranded De Vere at the Ricoh and a training suite has been introduced.
A dedicated hotel entrance is now in operation while a canopy with Ricoh Arena and De Vere signage greets guests from the north entrance.
The multi-million pound scheme has also involved creating a 650-seat auditorium which will be used for conferences during the day and as a live entertainment venue during the evening for nationally renowned comedians, singers and family entertainers.
Ibex Hall Three and Hall Four has also been added to the suites available for conferences, exhibitions and break-out rooms.
Inside the main atrium, The Deli is now in operation along with a new coffee house serving Costa coffee and a bridge has been fitted above the northern end of the atrium to allow hotel guests to walk across to the flexible refurbished Faradays event and dining space.
Anthony Mundy, facilities director at the Ricoh Arena, said the venue’s security systems had also been upgraded as part of the £3.7 million project.
“We are extremely pleased with the finished result,” he said. “This is the first major facelift that has been carried out since the Ricoh opened in 2005 and we have been pleased with the feedback from visitors.
“The new south entrance in particular is a real bonus since it provides greater flexibility when taking future bookings from conference and exhibition organisers irrespective of other events taking place.”
Jacky Isaac, human resources and operations director at the Ricoh Arena, was also heavily involved in the refurbishment. She said the state-of-the-art sound and seven metre HD screen system in the auditorium was ideal for conferences and symposiums where room hire includes all production, AV and staging with wireless translation facilities also now available.
“The investment is already proving to be worthwhile and we have confirmed bookings from a number of blue-chip clients since we now have the capacity to deal with conventions up to 7,000 delegates with the skill and service of a 100 delegate event,” she said.
The main contractor was Ibex while Coventry-based IDP Architects and Coventry City Council’s Project Management Team were also involved in the project.