Conference Aston continues £5.4m redevelopment with CAMS opening

Conference Aston, Birmingham's biggest residential conference venue, has officially opened the new Conference Aston Meeting Suites (CAMS), completing the first phase of its £5.4m redevelopment.

Conference Aston director Lucy Talbot with Aston University vice-chancellor Dame Julia King
Conference Aston director Lucy Talbot with Aston University vice-chancellor Dame Julia King

The new meeting suites replace the Lakeside Conference Centre, which will close at the end of this month and is set to be demolished as part of the redevelopment of the Aston University campus, and provide a larger and more flexible venue for conferences, meetings and exhibitions.

Lucy Talbot, director at Conference Aston, said: "With the impending redevelopment of the Lakeside Centre, it was crucial that we were able to offer our clients a new, higher quality conference venue, befitting of the city’s reputation as a leading destination for business tourism.

"If anything, the new space has allowed us to improve on what we can offer and this has been reflected by the bookings we already have from the likes of Birmingham City Council, NHS and Sustainability West Midlands."

CAMS is comprised of two large rooms that can be broken down into up to eight individual meeting rooms. The largest room can fit 274 delegates in theatre format, while the other room can fit up to 160 delegates; the maximum capacity across both rooms is in excess of 550 delegates (depending on configuration).

By comparison, the Lakeside Conference Centre had three rooms that could be broken down into various configurations, although the maximum capacity was only 440 delegates (200 in the largest room and 120 in each of the smaller rooms).

An added advantage to the new venue when it comes to hosting exhibitions is direct access to an underground loading bay. "CAMS is larger and more flexible and has better accessibility for setting up exhibitions [than Lakeside] - it has access to an underground bay and loading lift with direct access to the suites," said marketing and communications manager Paul Bunce.

The next phase of the redevelopment, which is expected to run until mid-2015, will include an upgrade to the conference centre and hotel within Aston Business School, which currently has 163 bedrooms, 20 meeting rooms and capacity for 235 delegates.

Details of the redevelopment are not set to be finalised until next Spring, but it is expected to include an increase in the number of bedrooms to more than 200 and an additional 15-20 meeting spaces, as well as an increase in the maximum capacity.

CAMS was officially opened on 7 November by vice-chancellor of Aston University, professor Dame Julia King, and hosted its first event the following day when Marketing Birmingham held the Meet Birmingham Showcase, which was attended by around 70 delegates.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Hire Space Awards 2019 winners: The full list

Hire Space Awards 2019 winners: The full list

Comedian Robin Morgan led the ceremony at the National Gallery recognising the UK's best venues and event organisers.

15 entertainment ideas for corporate events

15 entertainment ideas for corporate events

All ideas should be sensory, memorable and participatory, says Mauri Gomez of Eventos Barcelona.

LinkedIn launches face-to-face meetings tool

LinkedIn launches face-to-face meetings tool

Online networking platform's event-organising feature marks its first step into the physical meetings market.

Why wellness isn't just for delegates

Why wellness isn't just for delegates

From taking time to see the sights to apps that help your sleep patterns, Top Banana's Ian Cooke has some wellbeing tips.

7 lessons for event planners from... Brexit

7 lessons for event planners from... Brexit

We asked industry figures what the Brexit process has taught them about planning and executing big events.

Inntel hires new head of business travel

Inntel hires new head of business travel

Senior appointment will manage business travel operations teams and mentor the agency's business travel consultants.

5 ways to bounce back from travel sickness

5 ways to bounce back from travel sickness

Wellness expert John Ayo shares his health tips to make sure you and your event don't have to suffer.

What's the biggest challenge for corporate event planners?

What's the biggest challenge for corporate event planners?

Panel of experts at Cvent Connect examine what will affect in-house event professionals most during the next three years.

Marketing budgets cut for the first time in seven years, says Bellwether Report

Marketing budgets cut for the first time in seven years, says Bellwether Report

Total marketing budgets fell in the third-quarter amid economic and political uncertainty, but outlook for 2020 is positive.

Another landmark year for Belfast after winning Best Events Destination 2019

It's been a record-breaking year for Belfast with stand-out numbers for business tourism sales and awards galore.

LATEST JOBS