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Labour concerns trigger G-MEX overhaul - image

Stephenson Bell has been asked to look at a possible overhaul of Manchester's famous G-MEX centre, in the wake of last autumn's Labour Party conference.

It is understood that the party, which held its annual grassroots get-together at the convention centre for the first time in September 2006, raised a number of concerns about the venue - a former Victorian railway station.

Now Manchester City Council, owner of the G-MEX, which was designed by Essex, Goodman and Suggitt in 1985, has asked Stephenson Bell to draw up plans to revamp the centre in a bid to entice the party back later this year.

The news comes just days after the council unveiled a new name for the conference centre - Manchester Central.

Converted in the early eighties, the venue was linked to a new convention facility in 1998, and it is believed that Stephenson Bell has also been asked to tackle the potential redesign of the entrances to both buildings.

Lesley Tomlinson, chief executive of Manchester Central, said: 'This is a very exciting time for the recently re-branded Manchester Central.

'As we approach our 21st anniversary we are looking at a number of options for the venue, but as yet no firm plans are in place.'

by Richard Waite

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