Cure Leukaemia has chosen to host its annual fundraising event at the NEC, taking advantage of the venue’s outdoor event space.

The national blood cancer charity’s Dragonboat Race will be moving to its new Birmingham venue for the next three years, with the first event taking place on September 5 to coincide with Blood Cancer Awareness Month.

The 16-acre Pendigo Lake sits at the heart of the NEC Campus.

The Dragonboat Race will see hundreds of local businesspeople swap their normal attire and suits for fancy dress, before hitting the water in 30ft traditional Chinese longboats to demonstrate their paddling power.

“We are delighted to have joined up with the NEC and agreed plans for a new Dragonboat Race taking place for the next three years,” said James McLaughlin, CEO of Cure Leukaemia.

“To be staging it at such a major entertainment venue as the NEC is sure to make it a fantastic day for all the family as well as raising vital funds in the fight against blood cancer.”

Ian Taylor, NEC Group acting manager director for conventions and exhibitions, added: “Teaming up with Cure Leukaemia on this fantastic event is going to be great fun, and we couldn’t be happier that they’ve chosen the NEC as host.  We are known worldwide for our indoor space, but there are so many opportunities like this for organisers to use the outdoor space – over 160 acres of hard standing ground and 75 acres of woodland – surrounding the venue.

“Whether it be for a charity or corporate event, we offer something greater than just the NEC Halls and conference suites; we provide opportunities to create unique event spaces and the ultimate experience for your visitors.”