Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) is seeking a design team to rethink the future of the resort town’s waterfront conference venue
The team selected for the estimated £100,000 contract will carry out a RIBA Stages 0 and 1 report outlining a range of long-term options for the Bournemouth International Centre, which often hosts the annual conferences of British political parties and trade unions.
The project will look at ways to upgrade the facility which could be enlarged to occupy a neighbouring site previously earmarked by the council for a new hotel. Potential ways forward include an extensive alteration, refurbishment and extension of the complex; constructing an entirely new conference centre in the same location; or a new centre elsewhere in the city.
According to the brief: ‘BCP Council is seeking to appoint a suitably experienced consultant who will provide and manage a multi-disciplinary professional design team to review site information, undertake comprehensive feasibility studies and appraisal of long-term investment and redevelopment options for the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) in Dorset.
‘The appraisal will include commentary related to the adjacent and surrounding leisure offer as part of the context and strategic overview. The aim of this commission is to help set a vision to develop and enhance the BIC for the next 30 plus-years, establishing it as a premier event, conference, exhibition, entertainment and touring venue, which is at the forefront of the industry and of significant economic benefit for the town.’
The Bournemouth International Centre opened in 1984 as a major venue for conferences, exhibitions, concerts and events. It is a short distance from the town’s pier and Pavilion Theatre
The complex includes a 4,100-capacity main hall, the circular Purbeck Hall, and a swimming pool. The venue has hosted concerts by Björk, Morrissey and Craig David.
Local practice Footprint Architects won an earlier contract in 2018 to look at potential short-to-medium term external and internal alterations to the building. In July, the council decided to shelve plans for a new hotel on land next to the venue.
The latest commission focusses on how the BIC can become a leading regional venue for conferences and events over the next three decades. The council will commission a RIBA Stage 2 report once a way forward has been agreed from the three initial options.
Bids for the feasibility study contract will be evaluated 60 per cent on quality and 40 per cent on cost. The deadline for applications is 2pm on 12 January.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
Strategic Procurement Team
Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council