he new leisure resort destination at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) will create nearly 1,000 permanent jobs once it is completed in 2015.
Building work has started on the seven-storey, 538,000 sq ft Resorts World leisure complex at the NEC. As well as a casino, the site will include a four-star 170-bedroom hotel, 45 designer shops, an 11-screen cinema, bars and restaurants and a banqueting and conference centre operated by the NEC. Resorts World Birmingham venue will serve as a valuable addition to its portfolio of over 40 casinos located across the UK and including its flagship Crockford’s property in London.
Construction at the site, next to the LG Arena, will last two years with the centre due to open to the public in early 2015. Resorts World will be owned and operated by Genting Casinos UK, part of the Malaysian Genting Group. “The casino industry has an excellent record in promoting responsible gambling. We are accredited by GamCare and our staff are trained to recognise and deal with those issues. “While one is one too many, the vast majority of people who gamble don’t have an issue.”
“The team at The Royal Bank of Scotland clearly understood our ambitions and matched our passion for developing the region with this deal,” said Richard Salmond from Genting UK. “The bank developed a bespoke package to assist with our project and has been instrumental in helping this project become a reality. We’re confident that this project for Birmingham will boost the local economy and become a core asset for the company in the UK.”
The company said the scheme will create 1,750 jobs during construction and 1,100 hospitality and leisure jobs when the leisure complex opens.
Leisure bosses have dismissed fears that Birmingham’s first us$ 235.7 million super casino will create more gambling problems in the city. Peter Brooks, president of Genting UK, denied the super casino would increase gambling problems in Birmingham. “A concern that people express about gambling is the impact on local neighbourhoods,” he said. “This is an island site; those reservations around casinos on the high street do not apply here.
Experts say the regional economy will benefit from a us$ 94.3 million boost during the building of the casino complex and up to us$ 51.8 million per year after the opening.
Paul Thandi, chief executive of the NEC, said: “Less than one per cent of casino gamers have an issue with gambling. “The casino is 11 per cent of the site, without which it would be less financially viable and wouldn’t bring the other investment. “We’ve got to be realistic. Gaming brings tax.”
“Genting is a world famous brand and this latest project is very exciting,” said Robert Newell, Large Corporate Coverage Relationship Director for the Corporate and Institutional Banking section. “In particular, it shows the company has a strong commitment to the local economy. We hope the resort will be very successful and are looking forward to watching it develop and grow.
“The Funding for Lending Scheme has helped us to be the bank of choice for this initiative. The Royal Bank of Scotland is dedicated to helping businesses grow and invest in the UK and can help businesses of all sizes with their business aspirations,” he concluded.