5 of the best... UK venue and hotel openings in 2016

C&IT rounds up 2016's most exciting new openings, from the delayed InterContinental London - The O2 to Brighton's stunning new beachside landmark i360.

Brighton i360 is set to be one of 2016's most exciting openings
Brighton i360 is set to be one of 2016's most exciting openings

InterContinental London – The O2

InterContinental’s new hotel and conference centre was scheduled to open this side of Christmas. However delays to the construction have pushed it into the first quarter of 2016, meaning event planners will have to wait for what is likely to be one of the city’s most anticipated openings of the year.

The 18-storey hotel and conference centre will provide 453 bedrooms and London’s largest ballroom event space on the Greenwich Peninsula as part of a 7.6-acre development scheme.

The InterContinental London – The O2 will feature a conference centre with 20 multi-functional meeting rooms and a 3,000sqm ballroom, which will hold up to 3,000 delegates.

Other facilities will include a spa, two restaurants, a hotel bar and an 18th-floor Sky Bar, offering views across the Thames to Canary Wharf and beyond.

Brighton i360

Next summer, Brighton’s hotly anticipated i360 attraction is due to open and all who’ve been following the development are intrigued to see how it will transform the south coast beachfront.

Brighton i360 is set to be the world’s tallest moving observation tower, measuring at 450ft, as well as having the world’s first vertical cable car.

The venue, which was designed by the London Eye architects, will feature a dedicated event space with a range of meeting rooms, the largest of which will accommodate up to 1,000 guests.

Event guests will be able to travel 450 feet in a futuristic glass viewing pod, with 360-degree views of the beach and neighbouring towns. Available for private hire for up to 200 delegates, the pods can be tailored to event organisers’ requirements with food and beverage options available. 

A 1866 toll booth, restored by the Brighton i360 team, is also available to hire for private dining and receptions in the evening, accommodating up to 58 for a reception or 16 seated for dinner.

The Corn Exchange, Manchester

There are a raft of new developments lined up for Manchester in 2016, including the £30m transformation of what was The Triangle shopping centre into dining destination The Corn Exchange. Expected to be completed in the summer, the development will include 12 restaurants, including Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca, Vietnamese street-food restaurant Pho and Brazilian churrascaria Cabana.

Belfast Waterfront Conference and Exhibition Centre

Work on the Waterfront’s new £29.5m extension is well underway with steelworks now rising from the ground. Completion is scheduled for spring 2016 and when finished the venue will almost double the size to around 7,000sqm.

The main conference and exhibition hall, which has a ceiling height of 9 metres, is starting to take shape at the rear of the existing facility.


Over the coming months, the steel structure for the 700sqm conference and exhibition Hall 2 and several smaller meeting rooms will be put in place. Construction work is expected to be complete by the end of the year with the venue being fully operational by spring 2016.

Crowne Plaza Manchester and Staybridge Suites

Exciting developments in the pipeline for both InterContintal Hotels Group (IHG) and Manchester are the 220-room Crowne Plaza Manchester and 116-room Staybridge Suites, which are due to open on the city’s Oxford Road by the end of next year.

The two new properties are part of The University of Manchester’s massive £1bn campus development, a ten-year plan taking place over two phases, which will see a single campus created for the University, including new student facilities and buildings for teaching and research, as well as 'major improvements to the public realm'.

The opening of the two properties will take IHG’s portfolio of hotels to 21 in Manchester.

More:

7 of the best... UK venue and hotel openings in 2015

7 of the best... London hotel openings in 2015

Hilton London Bankside: hotel review

5 of the best... European hotel openings in 2015

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