GMB returns to Bournemouth International Centre for 99th Congress in 2016

BH Live, the south’s largest socially-driven provider of conference services, is to welcome the trade union GMB back to the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) for the first time since the 78th GMB Congress, 25 years ago.

To be held between 5-9 June 2016, the event is estimated to contribute £1.5 million to the local economy through business tourism and will be a major draw for over 800 delegates, exhibitors and visitors from across the UK.

GMB is a general union with more than 631,000 members in Britain and Ireland. It is the direct successor to the Gas Workers & General Union formed on 31 March 1889 by Will Thorne. The union spread like wild fire across Britain and Ireland after it liberated gas workers from the unrelenting toil of six, 12-hour days a week by winning a working day of eight hours. Delegates attending GMB Congress are the members elected to represent members from every part of the UK and Ireland employed in every sector of the economy. Congress is the supreme policy making body of the union.

Pat Coyne, BH Live’s Director of Venues said.

“The Bournemouth International Centre has a reputation as a premier conference venue. With a wide choice of networking opportunities and accommodation close to our venue we have been working with the organisers to prepare for the 2016 Congress – a pivotal event in GMB’s calendar which we are very much looking forward to hosting.”

Steve Short, GMB Executive Officer, added:

“The GMB Congress is a key event for us. Consequently the union’s Executive Council takes great care to find venues that are suitable for the event. Bournemouth ticks all our boxes as a dynamic and attractive business destination and the Bournemouth International Centre as a secure, respected and well-managed venue. It’s a very different place from what it was 25 years ago. The flexibility and space of the Windsor Hall is perfect for holding classroom-style events like ours. The centre is easy to get to, with plenty of nearby accommodation options for delegates.”

To find out more about the Bournemouth International Centre, visit and for more about the GMB visit


Notes to the editor

Bournemouth International Centre is managed by BH Live in partnership with Bournemouth Borough Council.

About BH Live

BH Live is the South Coast’s leading operator of leisure and event venues – a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives. With over 2.5 million visits a year and over £31 million turnover, the organisation is changing lives – placing it at the heart of the UK’s growing social economy.

In 2013/14, BH Live hosted 423 shows, sold over half a million cultural, sporting and entertainment tickets, clocked up 1.8 million leisure centre visits and welcomed 88,000 conference and exhibition delegates which contributed over £45 million to the local economy.

For further press information:

Elizabeth Symmons
PR & Corporate Communications Executive, BH Live
01202 451866