Exhibition Centre Liverpool
As the latest addition to waterfront venue ACC Liverpool, the 8,100sqm building will host exhibitions, large national and international conferences, banquets, concerts and global sporting events. The £40m Exhibition Centre Liverpool, which has been securing wins since last November, features three principal halls and a glazed atrium with waterfront views, as well as food and beverage outlets, multiple meeting rooms and a box office. External areas include a riverside balcony overlooking the Mersey and The Deck, an outside exhibition space for events. It will also include an integrated, four-star 216-room Pullman hotel, which is taking bookings from January next year.
Liverpool also saw the launch of the football-themed Shankly Hotel in August, while the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Liverpool opened to the public in October.
Crowne Plaza Newcastle – Stephenson Quarter
IHG's Crowne Plaza Newcastle - Stephenson Quarter hotel opened in September, boasting 'the largest conference and banqueting space in central Newcastle'. The 251-bedroom hotel will be located at the Stephenson Quarter multiuse development in the city centre, close to the business district, shops and restaurants, as well as Newcastle Central Station. It will have nine adaptable meeting rooms that can hold between 12 and 400 delegates. The rooms will all have built-in screens, natural daylight and designated refreshment areas. Other facilities will include a swimming pool, steam room, fitness centre and a spa offering treatments. There will also be a restaurant and a gin bar on-site.
Hotel Football, Manchester
The 133-room, four-star Hotel Football is located opposite Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium and is run by GG Hospitality, set up in 2013 by former Manchester United teammates Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. The hotel offers six meeting and function rooms capable of hosting up to 500 delegates, including the Players' Lounge, which offers catering designed by double-Michelin-star chef Michael Wignall. Matchday experiences with bespoke corporate hospitality packages are available, and an 11th-floor rooftop football pitch – Heaven – with retractable roof can be privately hired for events for up to 200 guests. The property also houses the second Café Football restaurant.
The five-star Hotel Gotham also opened its doors in Manchester this year (April). See C&IT's gallery of one of the UK's hottest new hotels here.
Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
Belfast's Titanic Exhibition Centre opened in September and the 5,000sqm of dedicated exhibition and event space can be hired on an exclusive basis for events, hosting up to 2,000 people. There are also opportunities for additional outdoor space. Titanic Belfast will assume sales and management responsibility for Titanic Exhibition Centre, offering it either for stand-alone exhibitions or in conjunction with the existing event and banqueting spaces within Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic.
Meanwhile, the new-look Belfast Waterfront is nearing completion, as the final fixtures were put in place on its £29.5m extension in October.
Vox Conference Centre, Birmingham
The Vox Conference Centre is made up of five Vox Suites that can be divided or combined to create conference space for up to 900 delegates, or 850 for a banquet. There are also three boardrooms, with a maximum capacity of 100. The latest technology includes Skyfold doors, which 'can transform a room in minutes', while Elonex digital screens can be easily moved to suit requirements. The venue is part of the much-anticipated £150m Resorts World Birmingham development, which finally opened in October offering a 178-bedroom hotel and spa, shops, restaurants and bars, an 11-screen cinema and a casino.
Stanbrook Abbey, Worcestershire
The former monastery reopened as a hotel and conference venue in March after a complete renovation. The 57-room hotel is situated in 22 acres of countryside near Malvern, and has a number of events spaces and incentive options onsite. There are 13 function rooms with a maximum capacity of up to 350 people for a reception. The venue also has its own conference team, a range of A/V equipment and free wi-fi available. Stanbrook Abbey also offers a range of teambuilding and incentive activities, including croquet, laser clay shooting, archery, giant garden games, treasure hunts, and wine testing. Other facilities include private dining rooms, a selection of bars, a games room, landscaped gardens and a lake.
Crowne Plaza Aberdeen Airport
The 165-room Aberdeen property opened in September and is directly linked to the airport through a covered walkway, a five-minute walk from the terminal. It has its own conference centre with ten meeting and events rooms, all of which have natural daylight and open out onto a lobby with a bar, tea and coffee facilities. The rooms can hold up to 300 delegates between them, with the largest room holding up to 80. The conference space also offers wi-fi, A/V technology, flipcharts and a dedicated meetings contact. Other facilities include The Grill restaurant and bar, an on-site fitness centre, car parking and laundry services.
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