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First impressions count at the NEC

The NEC occupies a 611 acre site in the borough of Solihull, just eight miles from Birmingham City Centre. There is around 75 acres of woodland and 392 acres of hard standing ground including 16,500 car parking spaces. The site welcomes around 2.1 million visitors every year.

The site covers a large area, including waterways and woodland, and there is 17 miles of road ways. The site was serviced by an in-house NEC delivery team consisting of 8 full time staff based on site. The gritting of the sites roads was delivered by a subcontractor on an ad-hoc basis.

Key objectives

The NECs main objectives were to:

  • Increase the resilience of the winter snow and gritting service
  • Maintain the excellent quality of the external appearance of the estate
  • Continue to operate an environmental management system accredited to BS EN ISO 14001

Mitie Landscapes is responsible for providing the following services at the NEC:

  • Winter gritting and snow clearing
  • Management of woodland and trees
  • Lake maintenance
  • Maintenance of grass areas, fencing, hedge cutting, shrub maintenance, bedding plants
  • Pest control

Solution and results

Mitie Landscapes was able to build upon the experienced on-site team and combine this with our extensive management experience and provide a new approach to the contract in order to drive down costs whilst maintaining the high standards of the NEC. We introduced a pre-planned working schedule carefully developed to account for seasonal adjustments and also the events taking place. This method ensures that the NEC grounds are always looking their best and impact on events is minimised.

One of the NECs main objectives for this contract was to improve the reliability and efficiency of the winter services for the site. Mitie Landscapes was able to provide a more robust and organised system for the provision of the winter services, utilising the extensive knowledge and resources available. Taking advantage of the specialised equipment Mitie Landscapes could provide (e.g. quad bike fitted with gritting hopper to grit walkways) we were able to offer a more efficient and cost effective method. Our ability to utilise our wider gritting resource enabled us to guarantee the site remains open during busy periods even during the worst winter weather.

We are also able to assist the NEC in identifying potential areas for site improvement. A great example of this is the area around the Pendigo Lake at the centre of the site. Here the NEC and Mitie Landscapes designed and constructed a gabion wall with wooden seating along the top and planting beds situated along the length. Not only does this feature improve the lakeside area it also doubles up as a preventative measure to reduce the number of geese that nest on the lake. This has benefited the public spaces at the NEC as well as the surrounding areas.

This is just one example of the collaborative work we are doing with the NEC. As they expand and develop their site, we work alongside offering expert advice on how they can make the most from their grounds and ensure the NEC remains a wonderful place to visit.

Services provided