Roads of the future on show
An airfield and exhibition centre is hosting a major highways products event.
Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, near Lutterworth, will be the venue for the biennial Seeing is Believing event from November 20 to 22.
Dozens of exhibitors are expected to attend, promoting everything from temporary traffic lights and road cones to overhead gantries.
Potential customers include council highways departments and utility and civil engineering companies.
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The previous Seeing is Believing event, in 2010, was held at the Motor Industry Research Association based near Hinckley, in a temporary tent.
Bruntingthorpe managing director David Walton said it had won the contract to hold the latest exhibition because of its 30,000sq ft of indoor exhibition space and a track which could be used to show off signs and safety equipment in real outdoor conditions and recreate typical highway scenarios.
Demonstration space ranges from £500 outdoors to £3,750 in the indoor area.
The event is held in November so potential buyers can inspect products on offer in the daylight, dusk and dark.
Mr Walton said: "We're already thinking about the next one, so it looks like it will give the organisers an opportunity to grow the event."
Paul Atkin, general manager of business development at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, said the owner was beginning to promote more exhibitions on the site and was considering conference opportunities.
He said: "This is a significant event for us – we are talking tens of thousands of pounds.
"We're delighted to be playing a part and we are very proud that the organisers of Seeing is Believing have decided to hold their important event here."
The event is organised by Alad, publisher of Highways magazine, and UK Roads, a company dedicated to encouraging better standards and maintenance.
Organiser Neil Levett said: "With industry-wide support for this event, attendance by leading manufacturers, suppli ers and operators, daylight, dusk and night-time live, practical demonstrations and a series of workshops running throughout the three days, Seeing is Believing is one of the most important events of the year."
Richard Hayes, president of the Institute of Highway Engineers, said: "By creating real situations and hands-on access to new products, it permits the maximum benefits to be demonstrated.
"The event provides one of the best opportunities for collaboration and networking."
A spokesman for the Highways Agency, which looks after England's motorways and major A-roads network, said: "Everyone must be aware of and understand the innovative products, technology and methodologies that maximise safety and free-flowing traffic on motorways and roads, within the restrictions of carefully controlled budgets.
"The Highways Agency wholeheartedly supports the aims of Seeing is Believing in helping to achieve that."
Russell Bennett, head of infrastructure projects for the Welsh Assembly, said: "Interactive events such as Seeing is Believing give a rare opportunity for industry professionals to see products in action."
It comes after public sector marketing agency Leicester Shire Promotions attracted a number of national conferences and business events to the county and is looking to secure more.
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