Three new conference rooms, a remodelled cafe bar and a smart brasserie could be installed on the lower ground floor of Great George Street by the end of the summer.
At its meeting before Christmas, Council approved plans to update the existing carvery, buttery and meeting rooms which, nine years after their last refurbishment, are claimed to be outmoded and uneconomic.
The proposals now go to the Executive Committee.
Last February, it was agreed that the loss making restaurant had to be closed and replaced with something new (NCE 25 February 1999).
The new layout would meet demand from members and Thomas Telford Ltd's commercial customers for more conference rooms and create attractive new and profitable eating areas.
Payback on the investment, which will come from the ICE's existing cash balances, should be in five years.
The design team working on the proposals consists of Leonard Stace, Thomas Saunders Partnership, Hurley Palmer Partnership, Richard Watkins & Associates and Gardiner & Theobald. Construction is expected to take 12 weeks over the summer.
A possible follow up to the refurbishment would be to create a glazed restaurant terrace in the lightwell next to the existing restaurant. The extra cost of this would be paid back in increased income over nine years.