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Mr Bailey has negotiated a three-year exclusivity contract with the management of the G-Mex Centre and the first of his Manchester International Antiques and Fine Arts fairs will be held in the exhibition complex from June 22 to 25, 2000. This Manchester fair will be by far the largest that Mr Bailey has ever put together. He envisages some 300 dealers in two sections, a gold and a silver, and the event will be vetted.

Over the past two decades there have been a number of attempts at mounting a successful antiques fair at the G-Mex Centre, but all have foundered. However, Robert Bailey confidently asserts that in 2000 “the time is right”.