Celtic Manor to get international conference centre

The Welsh government has thrown its support behind Sir Terry Matthews' plan to build a state-of-the-art international conference centre at his Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales.

Celtic Manor: Welsh Government backs plan for international conference centre
Celtic Manor: Welsh Government backs plan for international conference centre

Proposals for the Wales International Convention Centre, which would be the largest facility of its kind in Wales and the south west of England, were announced this morning by Matthews and Welsh business minister Edwina Hart.

The Welsh government has agreed to provide matched funding of around £500,000 for the initial design and planning stage and could potentially contribute to the estimated £40-60m construction costs, according to Wales Online.

The proposed conference centre would include a new auditorium, exhibition hall and associated facilities, with capacity for around 4,000 delegates, and will aim to capture some of the £100m in business Celtic Manor is forced to turn away annually.

Matthews said: "We’re in a position where we have to turn away business because we do not have the capacity to satisfy certain events. A convention centre will ensure that we attract significant new business to Wales. It will rival any convention facility in European and act as a magnet for major events, bringing huge benefits to the Welsh economy."

The Wales International Convention Centre would be built on land next to the hotel and would be an extension to Celtic Manor's 1,500 capacity Caernarfron Suite. It would incorporate the latest technology, including a 'dynamic' floor design that could be configured to the different requirements of conference organisers.

In addition to providing a £50m boost to the local economy during the construction phase, it is estimated the resort would provide a much larger boost to Cardiff airport and hotels across the city region once it is completed. Construction could start following next year's NATO summit, with a completion date in 2016.

Video: Virtual tour of Celtic Manor 

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