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ICC DURBAN SET TO EXPAND (article first published : 2002-10-24)

Africa’s leading international convention centre, ICC Durban, is set to double its capacity following the announcement by the local eThekwini council that it will be funding the R39 million Phase 1 of the total R250 million extension project.

ICC’s chief executive officer, Alec Gilbert, welcomed the announcement; “Even before the first bricks have been laid, we have attracted more events! We’ve just completed a record year and unfortunately lost a lot of business because we didn’t have the extension. The extension will enable us to provide additional facilities and will assist us in working with South African Tourism to grow Indaba, the country’s premier travel and tourism exhibition.”

ICC Durban will be the only venue in the country able to accommodate the major development plans afoot for Indaba. City authorities are planning to complete the first upgrade by May, in time for Indaba 2003.

Phase 1 will provide a venue of 2,400 square metres suitable for exhibitions and press facilities. Phase 2 entails completion of the entire 11,500 square metre addition, including all finishes, services, internal divisions, electrical and electronic components.

ICC will cover a total of 30,000 square metres (323,000 square feet). “We will be able to seat up to 13,000 people, have a new 4,500-seat auditorium and eight additional inter-connected meeting rooms which will accommodate up to 200 people each,” Alec Gilbert added.

Construction is due to start in January next year and as the foundation on the south side of the building is already in place, building is expected to take only five months.

Since opening in 1997, ICC has exceeded all expectations, staging over 1,500 events of more than 300 guests. At least 750,000 guests have visited the Centre, which amounts to an overall economic impact of over R2,6 billion.

ICC’s success can be attributed to the versatility and flexibility of the low-rise building, the staff’s commitment to service excellence and Durban’s year-round perfect weather.




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