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NEC determined to hold on to UK motor show

The boss of the Birmingham NEC last night announced he would leave "no stone unturned" in his efforts to ensure the Motor Show remains at the venue.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said it had not ruled out staging the Motor Show at the NEC but other venues were being consulted. It would not reveal which.

Andrew Morris, chief executive of the NEC group, said: "The NEC is working with the SMMT and the automotive industry to secure the long term future of the show in Birmingham.

"This is top of my agenda and we shall leave no stone unturned in our efforts to arrive at a concept that meets the needs of the automotive industry, car enthusiasts and Birmingham as a whole."

Rumoured alternatives to the NEC have included Goodwood, which currently stages the Festival of Speed, and Silverstone. Both venues would have facilities to stage some of the live attractions that made the 2004 show such a big hit with the 461,000 visitors but don't have the indoor exhibition halls that the NEC has.

The modern ExCel exhibition centre in London's Docklands may also be in the running.

Proposals from all the venues approached would be considered by the marketing directors of the major car companies along with other exhibitors in Decembe, says the SMMT.

The Motor Show has been staged in Birmingham for the last 26 years.

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