BMCC is first venue to receive M+ accessibility label
The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre is Flanders’ first meeting and conference venue to receive M+ accessibility label
Peter De Wilde, acting CEO of Tourism Flanders, has awarded the very first ‘M+ label‘ to the Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre. The BMCC may now officially call itself an easily accessible conference infrastructure. A great recognition for the state-of-the-art building that opened its doors as recently as January 2022.
The BMCC in Bruges has a 4500m² multipurpose event space (exhibition hall), an auditorium for 516 people with a foyer, 12 meeting rooms with their foyers, a catering area for 500 people and a VIP area for 90 people. This meeting and conference venue opened its doors in January 2022. Barely a year later, the BMCC was awarded with an M+ accessibility label by Tourism Flanders.
“Meeting venues can distinguish – and certify – themselves in Flanders with the protected accessibility label for meeting infrastructure,” clarifies Peter De Wilde, acting CEO of Tourism Flanders. “The label, which has three levels (M, M+ and M++), is a guarantee for meeting and conference organisers that the BMCC is easily accessible (M+) to everyone. The label ensures that the BMCC meets the necessary criteria for wheelchair users as well as for people with hearing or visual impairments. This M+ label was obtained thanks to the joint efforts of the BMCC’s building team, Inter and the City of Bruges.”
“The City of Bruges has signed the charter ‘towards an accessible municipality’ and consequently incorporates accessibility into its building projects,” says Dirk De fauw, burgomaster of the City of Bruges. “The construction of the BMCC was the subject of a tender competition . Accessibility was one of the conditions to win the contract. To this end, we worked closely with the Inter Agency Accessible Flanders. Together, we thoroughly examined the designs of the tenderers.
Counsel was provided for the winning design in order to ensure that the building would be accessible in every detail. The simplest way to use or understand anything was considered, all without compromising the sober style of the architecture.”
“In Flanders, we want to organize meetings and congresses everyone can participate in, which is fully in line with the ‘Travel to Tomorrow’ strategy of the Flemish Tourism Board,” says Flemish Tourism Minister Zuhal Demir. “The City of Bruges consciously chose to include accessibility as a quality requirement for this building project and we can only applaud that. The BMCC can therefore rightly call itself one of the pearls of the Flemish conference infrastructure, where we can welcome (inter)national conference delegates in the best circumstances.
The city services arranged the consultation moments between Inter and Beursgenootschap Souto de Moura – META – CFE, the project manager and the designers, who welcomed the recommendations with open arms and ensured their flawless implementation.
“It is of the utmost importance for Bruges that everyone can enjoy the building and its surroundings in the best conditions,” says alderman and chairman of the BMCC, Pablo Annys. “Now we can assure organisers of meetings, trade fairs and conferences that their guests will be truly welcome here, including those with a disability. The result is impressive. The City is very grateful to both the construction team and Inter for their excellent cooperation.”
“We are very proud of this beautiful recognition by the Flemish Tourism Board,” says Sarah Cornand, director of the BMCC. “This label puts the BMCC even more firmly on the map of leading meeting and conference venues. A beautiful reward for all the efforts made. In the years ahead, we will continue to respond strongly to the specific needs of the conference tourist as well as to new trends within the sector.”
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