NATIONAL INSTITUTION FOR THE ORGANISATION OF EXHIBITIONS, CONGRESSES AND CULTURAL EVENTS

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The revitalisation of the TIF Exhibition and Conference Centre is the only sustainable, safe, and complete solution for the growth of Thessaloniki and the Greek economy

The new International Exhibition and Congress Centre that will come about from the revitalisation of the existing TIF installations will be a catalyst for the growth of Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, and the Greek economy, an exhibition hub for the Mediterranean and Southeastern Europe, and perhaps the most important piece of infrastructure the city has gained since the regime changeover.

The revitalisation project has drawn the interest of the crème de la crème of leading architecture firms internationally, and its design will include the most modern developments in this sector, leading to the implementation of a bioclimatic construction project of the highest aesthetic value, respectful of the environment and the city, and which will harmoniously blend into the vision of the bodies and citizens for a Thessaloniki of the future.

The project includes the creation of an open green space of approximately 15 acres, suitable for recreation and outdoor cultural uses.

This green “lung” that the city is missing today, will radically tip the environmental scale in Thessaloniki for the better, providing approximately 50% of the current area for use by citizens of the city.

The TIF revitalisation project is the result of long-term planning, discussions, and fermentation with the governments and society at the time, from 2012 onwards, while its final form garnered the support of both the previous and current governments.

At the same time, the vast majority of the country’s political spectrum has repeatedly provided a “vote of confidence” to the current TIF revitalisation plan.

Furthermore, the Region of Central Macedonia, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, and all the productive and technical stakeholders of Thessaloniki and Northern Greece have given their support.

The citizens of Thessaloniki also warmly embraced it. In a survey carried out by ‘Interview’ on behalf of TIF-Helexpo in February 2013, 69.8% of citizens wanted the Fair to remain in the city centre and have

its installations revitalised, along with the creation of a metropolitan park.

In 2012-2013, in the middle of the financial crisis, the plan implemented by the Advice - BCS - Kantor joint venture, on purely technical-economic terms, underlined that keeping the TIF in central Thessaloniki and the revitalisation of the current exhibition centre, is the only sustainable solution, both for the national exhibition body, and for the city as a whole.

Moving it to Sindos and building the necessary infrastructure would require more than 500 million Euros in capital, while the cost of revitalising the current installations was calculated at about a third of that.

The plan in question concluded that the only implementable option was the revitalisation of the current, antiquated and highly energy consuming facilities, and the creation of a “green lung” and a new emblematic and blioclimatic Exhibition and Conference Centre in the city centre.

TIF-Helexpo partnered with the School of Spatial Planning and Development of AUTh and the Technical Chamber-Department of Central Macedonia, as well as with the Municipality of Thessaloniki, submitting in the summer of 2017 a request to pre-approve the Special Spatial Plan (SSP), which was provided by the General Secretariat of Spatial Planning and Urban Environment of the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

Following deliberations in March-May 2019, there was unanimous approval of the SSP and the Environmental Terms in April 2020 by the Council for Metropolitan Planning of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, while a Presidential Decree draft was signed by the Minister of Environment and Energy.

At the same time, the International Architectural Design Competition commenced and 15 architecture firms were selected to move on to the next phase. These firms come from the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Finland, and Kuwait.

There are up to 9 partnered Greek architecture firms in 7 of the 15 architectural teams.

The major international interest on the revitalisation is proven by the fact that there were 116 candidates from 33 countries and 5 continents in the pre-selection phase.

For reasons of transparency and for the promotion of the Competition under the highest quality and most stringent specification, the International Judging Panel consists of internationally acclaimed professionals in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban

planning, while Joan Busquets, Spanish architect, urban planner, and Head Professor of Urban Design at Harvard Graduate School of Design is the President of the panel.

The BoD of TIF – HELEXPO SA, after 8 years of material deliberation with the state, city agencies, and society, believes that the Revitalisation of the TIF Exhibition Centre is the only sustainable, safe, and complete solution for the growth of Thessaloniki, the sustainability of the company, and the quality of life of the citizens of Thessaloniki.