Medical Venues: At the cutting edge

If you're staging a conference, only the most excellent premises will do; here are five of the finest medical venues in the UK.

Life Conference Centre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Life Conference Centre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Life Conference Centre

Situated in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, the International Centre for Life is a science village that aims to lead world-class scientific research in medicine. Its conference centre has nine rooms for hire, the largest of which, Scotswood, can seat 380 delegates theatre-style, plus 350m2 of exhibition space. The venue is linked to the Science Centre itself, providing a range of entertainment options such as use of the planetarium theatre. Laboratory facilities are also available for medical or pharmaceutical demonstrations. The venue has this year hosted congresses for the British Thoracic Society and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, to name but two.

Thackray Museum

Leeds' Thackray Museum tells the history of medicine and has previously welcomed groups from Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust, law firm Irwin Mitchell and supermarket brand Asda. The Grade-II-listed Victorian building has a 12-seat boardroom and a 140-seat auditorium, which can be booked for daytime, evening and weekend events. In addition, its four conference rooms include the medical-themed Hopper Room, which can host 40 delegates theatre-style, and the Wilkinson Gallery, which can be used for evening receptions.

Liverpool Medical Institution

Liverpool Medical Institution (LMI) is one of the oldest medical societies in the world. At the corner of Hope Street and Mount Pleasant, it includes the Victorian Lecture Theatre, which can seat 128. Mark Fordham, a consultant urological surgeon at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, regularly hosts regional and national urology academic meetings at LMI. He says: "The spacious lecture theatre has excellent audio-visual facilities, the numerous break-out areas have their own audio-visual kit and the dining areas for both lunch and evening meetings are comfortable, with a choice of excellent caterers."

University of St Andrews School of Medicine

The Medical Science Building at St Andrews opened in June 2011. Facilities include a science lab that can be used for practical seminars or trade fairs, a 300-seat lecture theatre, two 50-seat seminar rooms and 12 tutorial rooms.

It is available for hire outside of teaching times and it can be combined with almost 90 venues throughout the campus, such as the Physics Building to which it is linked, to offer conference space for 900 delegates. The university also offers 1,300 en suite rooms with free wi-fi available throughout.

The Royal College of Physicians

The Royal College of Physicians' building overlooks Regent's Park in London. It has welcomed conferences including the British Association for the Study of the Liver and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. It was recently crowned World's Best Convention Centre by the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC). It has a range of tiered theatres, such as the 300-seat Wolfson Theatre, exhibition space and dining facilities, including the Dorchester Library, which can accommodate 200 guests for a reception. Groups can also book the Physic Garden for drinks or al fresco dining.

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