BiCon moves 250 metres

We have had to relocate some of BiCon 2011's spaces about 250m to the other side of a lawn on the Oadby site because the University of Leicester decided to 'refurbish' (in other words 'knock down') some of the buildings we were going to use.

Photograph of extensive building work and rubble of what was the Gilbert Murray Conference Centre

The Gilbert Murray Conference Centre in May 2011. The wooden doors led to the bar, but the pile of rubble is all that's left of the main hall and half of the session rooms we were going to use.

You can imagine how the organising team felt when we heard about that…

Don't worry, we've got some solutions

Thankfully the venue conference team (who have been lovely) have helped us find some new spaces which we think will work well for BiCon.

Map of old and new BiCon buildings

Map of old and new BiCon buildings. The red tinted area with crossed out areas are the old buildings which we are no longer using. The blue tinted area shows the new BiCon spaces and buildings. The buildings in the middle remain unchanged.

Buildings we will no longer be using

The red tinted areas on the map show Gilbert Murray Conference Centre (red building) which has been knocked down. We expect the major rebuilding work will be finished by BiCon, but they will still be refitting internally. We will also not be using the Gilbert Murray flats as standard accommodation.

Buildings which remain unchanged

The untinted areas of the map show Shirley House (pale blue) which we announced as new to 2011 for extra session space; Bowder Court (yellow) and John Foster Halls (purple) for en suite accommodation, both as 2008.

Buildings which are new to us

The blue tinted areas of the map show the new buildings we will be using. Firstly there is Stamford House (dark orange) and Dining Room (green) for the main daytime, evening and entertainments spaces. Standard accommodation will now be provided in Lasdun Block (pink).

New building 1: Stamford House

Some of the session space, daytime and evening social space and main evening entertainments will be provided in Stamford House.

Back of Stamford House as approached from the car park

Back of Stamford House as approached from the car park.

Stamford House approached from the rest of the BiCon site

Stamford House approached from the rest of the BiCon site. Plenty of space in this area for picnics and socialising outside.

New building 2: Dining room

The Dining Room will be used for plenaries, some sessions and some entertainments.

photo of dining room from outside

Dining Room which is about 50m away from Stamford House (just behind the camera in this shot).

photo of inside dining room with tables laid out

Inside the Dining Room with tables laid out.

New building 3: Lasdun block (standard accommodation)

Standard accommodation will now be in Lasdun blocks. These are much closer to the daytime and evening space and not only have slightly nicer rooms but have only 6 rooms per kitchen and 3 rooms per bathroom (so around half as many people sharing each as in the Gilbert Murray flats used in 2008!)

Lasdun Block: standard accommodation.

Lasdun Block: standard accommodation. This is very close to Stamford House and Dining Room daytime and evening spaces.

There are some definite positives to these changes..

Stamford House is more suited to our 1919-1939 Saturday night ball theme with beautiful wooden panelling on the walls and plaster moulding on the ceiling.

Stamford House evening and social space

Stamford House evening and social space. This is the area which will be the dance floor.

We will have a range of different types of evening socialising space, from noisiest dance floor, then different spaces which are quieter and quieter as they get further from the music.

Quieter evening and social space

Quieter evening and social space

We're now also closer to bus stops and supermarkets.

.. and a few downsides

The previous site had ideal level paths and routes between the buildings. This new site is a bit more spread out and there is one very short, but steeper than we'd like, slope between the Stamford House / Dining Room / Lasdun area and the Shirley House / Bowder Court area which may be difficult for some attenders to use.

The Lasdun slope, rising about 1.25 metres in nine paces

We are working through our notes and photographs to identify alternative routes and will be making a comprehensive update to the Access Report some time over the next few days. If you think these changes may affect you and your BiCon please contact our access officer Matt on email address removed and we will do our best to work with you to come up with solutions to enable you to have the best BiCon possible.

We look forward to seeing you there!

About Natalya

Natalya is coordinating all the day time sessions at BiCon 2011. You may know her from events such as Brum BiFest 2009 and BiCons 2004, 2007 and 2008.
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7 Responses to BiCon moves 250 metres

  1. Cas says:

    What a tricky thing to happen so close to the event! I'm glad to see that a new site's been found, and so close too.

    Do you know what the situation is with gender-neutral toilets on the new site? If we don't have exclusive access, are there toilets available which are not binary-gendered? And if we do, are there plans established to relabel some or all of the toilets appropriately?

  2. Alison says:

    Hi – the short answer is that yes, we do have exclusive access to Stamford and Shirley House and we plan to designate all or most of the toilets as gender neutral. There are also wheelchair accessible toilets in both buildings.

    Yes, it was tricky, and we're very relieved to have it sorted out!

  3. Paul Crowley says:

    Much sympathy to you guys for having such heavy things dropping on your head at the last minute – thanks for everything you've done so swiftly to sort it out!

    • Natalya says:

      Thank you – I'm just grateful that we had as much notice as we did and didn't have to look for a new venue!

      We've still got to update the rest of this website to reflect the site changes, especially the access report, but we hope to have that finalised in the next few days *phew*!

  4. helen-louise says:

    Wow – that sounds incredibly stressful. Glad the venue Conference team were willing to help!

  5. chris says:

    heya bi-con 🙂
    i have a small question regarding the accomodation.
    is there any opportunity for couples to share a room ?
    thanks 🙂

  6. Natalya says:

    Hi Chris,

    Our accommodation is all officially single-occupancy as it is student bedrooms. We unfortunately don't have any double rooms available – that would really be a holy grail I know.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.

    Natalya – organiser