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Utilita Arena Birmingham, part of the NEC Group, has fully let a total of 44,000 sq ft of adjoining retail space following a flurry of deals.

The final three of six units have been snapped up by new market entrants Jukeboxers, Sommar Brewery and The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery, while extra space has been created for virtual reality specialist MeetSpaceVR.

Jukeboxers, building on the success of its sister venues in Oxford and London, will make its debut in Birmingham featuring a duelling piano bar this summer, while The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery will re-open its doors following lockdown, bringing a new gallery and hub for artists and art enthusiasts alike. Sommar Brewery has recently opened, set to finally welcome patrons inside its brand-new microbrewery and craft ale pub. MeetSpaceVR will launch its Zero Latency (Free Roaming VR) concept adding to the Arena’s array of existing attractions. 

The new occupiers will sit alongside the likes of LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham, Ed’s Diner and Costa Coffee, offering a wide selection of canalside food, beverage and leisure attractions.

Utilita Arena Birmingham is one of the busiest, large-scale indoor sporting and entertainment destinations in the world, hosting more than 100 events annually. The iconic Birmingham venue attracts over half a million visitors per year and helps the Group to generate £2 billion in economic benefit to the West Midlands.  

Andy Cole, Revenue Development Director at the NEC Group, said:

“Having completed these lettings during the pandemic, we’re proud to see all retail units at Utilita Arena Birmingham fully occupied. It's a perfect time for Jukeboxers, Sommar Brewery, The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery and MeetSpaceVR to join us, bringing more entertainment, arts and food and drink to our offer.

“The deals are a real mark of confidence in the market and Birmingham’s post-pandemic retail and leisure scene. With all set to open in the coming months as people start to enjoy the city once again, we look forward to seeing the visitors enjoy these venues throughout summer and the years to come.” 

Real estate advisor Avison Young acted on behalf of the NEC Group, building on a strong track record across retail in the city, working with the Group’s other destinations, the ICC, the NEC and other city centre schemes including The Mailbox. 

In 2020, it launched its UK Cities Recovery Index, a real-time tracker of the post-Covid recovery across the UK’s core nine cities. In Birmingham, the hotel and leisure sector indices are among those experiencing the greatest uptick in activity as the Government's lockdown easing roadmap continues to unfold. 

Guy Sankey, Associate at Avison Young, said:

“Birmingham is coming back to life as lockdown eases with the retail and leisure sectors enjoying a much needed boost following the success of the Government vaccine roll out and the latest ease on restrictions.

“We expect this to continue, so are thrilled to achieve this milestone for the NEC Group at Utilita Arena Birmingham, during a period where Covid-19 has put the hospitality industry under enormous strain.”

Becky Frall, Head of Visitor Attraction at the West Midlands Growth Company, said:

"As we safely welcome back more people to Birmingham and the West Midlands following the latest easing of lockdown restrictions, it is heartening to see a variety of new additions at Utilita Arena Birmingham to boost the region's visitor economy.

"It has been a turbulent 12 months for our tourism businesses, but these deals give us reasons to be optimistic, as we count down to major, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities in the region, such as the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

"A full complement of businesses at Utilita Arena Birmingham will give our visitors lots of exciting new options as they come to explore our city centre waterways, enjoy our hospitality venues and be entertained by our events calendar."