Cardiff calls for new convention centre

Cardiff Conference Bureau is backing the construction of a purpose- built convention centre to boost business and its new Conference Ambassador Programme. A feasibility study into the construction of a centre is currently under way, but the bureau does not know when this will be completed. The ambassador programme is expected to raise the city’s profile and highlight the need for a centre. Cardiff Conference Bureau manager Tricia McFarlane said: “There are large meetings venues available in the city, such as the Cardiff International Arena (CIA), but a new centre would enhance our offer.” The marketing body, Cardiff Initiative, launched the ambassador programme with the bureau last month, and academic institutions are being provided with the back-up they need to promote the city, including help with bidding, inspection visits and an accommodation booking service. Cardiff Initiative general manager Richard Jones could not put a figure on the volume of business likely to be generated by the programme, but said it should bring in “a healthy number of prestigious conferences over the next five years”. He added the initiative will make it far easier to attract conferences to the city. Currently, large venues for conferences in the city include facilities such as the CIA with capacity for 5,500, St David’s Hall (1,600) and Cardiff City Hall (500).

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