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.
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.
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.
New building 2: Dining room
The Dining Room will be used for plenaries, some sessions and some entertainments.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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@example.com and we will do our best to work with you to come up with solutions to enable you to have the best BiCon possible.