Puropose-built venues: Money well spent

Specialist venues are investing heavily in improving their offerings in order to gain a competitive edge

Despite cutbacks affecting overall event business levels, the executive director of Conference Centres of Excellence, Anthony Lishman, says many specialist venues are continuing to invest in their offerings to become more competitive.

Indeed, many refurbishment programmes are taking place in purpose-built venues. The Cotswold Conference Centre has begun a £3.5m, two-year refurbishment that will create 36 new bedrooms as well as improving some of its 89 existing rooms.

Manchester Central Convention Complex's £30m redevelopment has just been completed. An extension with white walls and natural daylight has been added, which has moveable walls that can divide the space into three and holds up to 800 delegates.

Last year, the Brighton Centre completed the first phase of its refurbishment, which replaced all 4,000 seats in its main auditorium. It recently announced it will invest a further £1m to overhaul its main entrance and redesign the venue's restaurant to include floor-to-ceiling windows for uninterrupted views of the city's seafront.

Conference Aston, a purpose-built venue at Aston University in Birmingham, has just undergone a £250,000 refurbishment of its standard bedrooms, with a new underground car park for delegates. Meanwhile, work will begin this year on a 200-room hotel with four boardrooms that will sit next to the East Midlands Conference Centre. It is due to open in autumn 2012.

Nottingham Conference Centre opened last year, following a three-year project. "The centre offers nine meeting rooms that can hold up to 200 delegates, and three stunning event rooms that can hold up to 350 guests," says Simon Thompson, managing director of Conferences UK.

Meanwhile, Cambridge's Pitt Building has opened the Perceval Room, a new meetings space that can hold up to 70 people, and Ashorne Hill in Leamington Spa has also opened a new space, the Kenilworth Room, that can hold up to 80.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Campfire conferences should replace hotels, buffets and PowerPoint

Campfire conferences should replace hotels, buffets and PowerPoint

Scrap the traditional conference and get delegates out in the wild for a memorable experience, says Top Banana's Emma Collins.

Case study: Mercedes-Benz at Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum 2019

Case study: Mercedes-Benz at Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum 2019

China's best and brightest entrepreneurs got an in-depth look at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class at the annual conference.

In pictures: The Biltmore, Mayfair to open in September

In pictures: The Biltmore, Mayfair to open in September

Following a multi-million-pound redevelopment, The Biltmore is set to become London's latest luxury hotel.

Activities and hotels in stylish Scandinavia

Activities and hotels in stylish Scandinavia

A look at what the capital cities of Sweden, Faroe Islands and Denmark have to offer.

How event apps can wreck your social media impact

How event apps can wreck your social media impact

Customised event apps can 'silo' your social media amplification, a report from a specialist tech agency has found.

'Best of the Best' hotels and hoteliers chosen by luxury travel network

'Best of the Best' hotels and hoteliers chosen by luxury travel network

The ten winners of Virtuoso's 2019 awards chosen by 20,000 professional travel advisors.

5 inspiring sports stadiums for events

5 inspiring sports stadiums for events

International sporting arenas that offer impeccable facilities and special experiences for your delegates.

New event space opens at Southampton Science Park

New event space opens at Southampton Science Park

Venue has capacity for 200 people and is close to major road and rail links, as well as Southampton Airport.

Will outer space become a giant leap for incentives?

Will outer space become a giant leap for incentives?

Astronaut and associate professor of space physics Suzie Imber says the reality of travel beyond our planet is close.

8 activities in... Mauritius

8 activities in... Mauritius

Home to white sands, rum punch, high-octane water sports and natural wonders.

LATEST JOBS