Northern charm

Yorkshire is a region THAT can offer conference organisers a wealth of unique and interesting venues in a variety of diverse locations. Its vibrant cities such as Leeds and Sheffield offer venues with a cosmopolitan flair while the countryside offers historical castles and world heritage sites worth a visit. Delegates will also be spoilt by the region’s vast stretch of beautiful coastline, quaint English villages, and industrial heritage.

Hull and East Yorkshire
In Hull and East Yorkshire, conferences and events are not just about meeting rooms, they’re about providing first class experiences, whilst being great value for money.

Conference organisers will find a superb selection of traditional, contemporary and unusual venues in a diverse range of locations including the historic waterfront city of Hull, the rugged beauty of the East Yorkshire coastline and the tranquil rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.
    
Hull city centre venues range from impressive conference halls and specialist training centres to opulent civic venues. Residential events are catered for in an array of privately owned and chain brand hotels. Two of the newest additions include The Owner Hotel and the World Trade Centre.

Contemporary luxury
The Owner, Hull’s first boutique hotel offers guests contemporary luxury in an historic 19th Century building, along with conference facilities for up to 30 delegates and an elegant restaurant with south facing café terrace.
    
The World Trade Centre Hull & Humber is a stunning glass building, located on the waterfront and hosts some of the most stylish, innovative and well equipped, office, training, exhibition and meeting spaces available in the region, along with an executive business lounge.
    
To escape the hustle and bustle take your pick of exclusive venues in rural and coastal settings throughout East Yorkshire. Exquisite barn conversions and rural hotels with spas provide the perfect ambiance for meetings and away days, host an event in one of the premier venues that boast stunning views of the Humber Bridge.
    
For something a little more exotic then Lazaat, with its Eastern influences yet traditional picturesque English village location, could be the right venue for your next event. A unique venue for meetings, events, dining and celebrations, the style, design and overall ambience all reflect a combination of eclectic influences from various worldwide cultures.

Coastal attractions
For a traditional coastal location then the award winning Spa at Bridlington set on the seafront has recently undergone a £20m refurbishment. To compliment the magnificent 1930s Art Deco Ballroom and the Edwardian Theatre are new and refurbished rooms, many with stunning views of the beach.
    
Every great conference needs to offer its delegates some unique down time, and Hull and East Yorkshire has a host of options. There’s a vibrant mix of culture shopping and nightlife throughout the area that makes mixing business with pleasure effortless.
    
Spend an exclusive evening at the iconic award winning Deep visitor attraction, home to 40 sharks and over 3,000 fish. Wine and dine your delegates on the ocean floor or above the waves in the glass observatory, keep them entertained with a bespoke dive show amongst the sharks in the Oceans Gallery.
    
Alternatively, host a drinks reception with a difference along the cobbled alleyways of the Streetlife Museum or treat your VIPs to a gala dinner at Carlton Towers – a privately owned stately home with the wow factor.

Harrogate
One of the UK’s longest established venues for conferencing and exhibitions, Harrogate International Centre (HIC) largely attributes its ongoing success to the fact it has built its offer around what clients want.

This is no empty claim. HIC has an incredible business retention rate of over 60 per cent. Topping the list of its longest standing clients is the famous Christmas & Gift Fair, which has been exhibiting in Harrogate since 1949 and celebrated its 60th anniversary at the centre this year.
    
HIC is about to embark on the first phase of a £50 million redevelopment scheme – proposals customised by consultation with clients and the local community.

One of those clients is Brian French, organiser of The Royal College of Nursing Annual Congress, who ran his 14th event with HIC in May 2009. Brian says: “What I really admire about the HIC team’s approach is that they don’t rest on their laurels and that they are constantly looking for creative solutions that add value and interest for us, the client, and our delegates.”
    
HIC is a unique venue that packs in an integrated yet diverse and flexible portfolio of spaces, incorporating a 2,000-seater auditorium, a collection of ten variously sized and specified suites and halls with a total exhibition space of 16,500 sq m, plus a couple of unexpected gems in the form of the Edwardian Royal Hall and the Art Deco Sun Pavilion.

The City of York

Vibrant, progressive and with glorious architecture, York is one of the most perfectly placed conference cities in Britain.
     
No other English city offers the layers of history, beauty and sheer diversity of York. Visit the magnificent Minster – the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, the National Railway Museum – the largest railway museum in the world or enter the world of JORVIK and experience the real Viking age.

From modern facilities at York Racecourse and the Central Science Laboratory to the state of the art facilities at the National Centre for Early Music – a sympathetically restored church, York has something to suit all tastes and budgets.

Quality hotel venues include York Marriott, which was voted Best Conference Venue in Yorkshire (BDRC 2008), York Hilton, and the Park Inn. Elegant privately owned hotels, such as The Grange and Middlethorpe Hall, offer an alternative luxurious experience.
    
Crowned the ‘UK’s Best City’ at the Telegraph Travel Awards and with new hotels such as the luxury Hotel Du Vin and York’s first five star opening in 2010, there’s never been a better time to book your event or conference in York.

Leeds
There’s an old saying in Yorkshire that “shy bairns get nowt” and Leeds and West Yorkshire are certainly coming out of their shell and raising their game to attract the UK’s  conference and meetings industry.
    
The city was named as one of the UK’s top five meeting destinations in every major independent business tourism survey undertaken in 2008. Leeds has appeared in the top five rankings of both the UK Conference Market Survey (UKCMS) and the United Kingdom Tourism Survey (UKTS).

Leeds has long being a favourite amongst city breakers with its “Knightsbridge of the North” tag but it now has a reputation for world-class conference facilities’ and social entertainment to match.
    
Traditionally, international and national Association events have been held in the magnificent Leeds Town Hall, a landmark historic building with stunning Victorian architecture in the heart of the City Centre, which offers a capacity of 1,200 theatre style.

Unique venues
2007 saw the opening of Leeds largest capacity venue – Saviles Hall at the Royal Armouries Museum. Capable of hosting up to 1,500 delegates, the hall takes its name from legendary DJ and charity worker Sir Jimmy Savile who was born in Leeds and is a proud Yorkshire supporter. The Royal Armouries itself has recently undergone a refurbishment and now boasts improved meeting facilities and a stunning reception hall perfect for corporate events. The venue forms part of the £200 million Clarence Dock development which includes executive apartments, bars and restaurants and a stylish new casino – Alea.
    
Alea Leeds is a fabulous new destination featuring two restaurants, several chic bars, a luxurious 312sq m event space, two state-of-the-art gaming floors, a self-contained gaming suite, private dining room and a stunning 50 seater private cinema.
    
Leeds City Council has recently announced plans to build a new arena and conference centre in the city. The new £30 million arena will be a 12,500 seat entertainment venue which will accommodate a range of events establishing Leeds as one of the UK’s top cities for entertainment and sport. Once completed, the arena will bring significant benefits to the city of Leeds; it is estimated that up to an extra £28m will be contributed each year to the local economy.
    
Leeds City Museum opened in September 2008 and offers a magnificent setting for dinners and conferences for up to 400 delegates. The Grade II listed building has been transformed in to a state-of-the-art museum with an impressive central arena, two meeting rooms and exciting interactive galleries including Natural Science, Story of Leeds and Ancient Worlds.
    
Leeds has a track record in delivering conferences for the public sector. Most recently the Royal Armouries hosted the LGA First Annual Emergency Planning Conference and Exhibition for 130 delegates over a two day period from the 3-4 February 2009.

New for 2009
The pace of development has continued into 2009 with the recent opening of Leed’s newest venue, The Rose Bowl. Leeds Metropolitan University’s state of the art conferencing facility. The dramatic five-storey facility, which takes its name from the Leeds Met Rose, is situated behind the Civic Hall in the heart of the city’s Civic Quarter and offers dedicated conference and events space for a wide range of events.     
    
The dramatic signature glass building is perfect for gala dinners, product launches, award ceremonies, conferences and exhibitions and will accommodate up to 600 delegates reception style and 400 theatre style by linking two lecture theatres.
    
Academic venues got a further boost this year as work started on a new 198 accommodation block for Leeds and Trintiy & All Saints College providing conference organisers with 380 ensuite campus bedrooms from June 2011.
    
The new accommodation will be the central focal point of the compact campus, meaning delegates will be ideally placed for all facilities, including the new 250 capacity auditorium, exhibition space, dining room and sports centre.

Hotel developments
Hotel development has continued to grow too, with the new City Inn opening its doors to guests in July. Part of the new Leeds Granary Wharf regeneration project, City Inn is located adjacent to Leeds train station and next to the canal. With 333 bedrooms and a 360 degree panoramic view of Leeds from it spectacular Sky Lounge, 13 floors up, the hotel promises to be a great addition to Leed’s conference venues.
    
A new £31m hotel development has recently been announced by Oxford GB. The Portland Crescent Hotel will be located within the city’s civic quarter, a minute’s walk from Millennium Square, Leeds Metropolitan University and the new Rose Bowl development and the site of the recently announced Leeds Arena.
    
Work will start on the site in 2009, with a scheduled 244 bed hotel opening date in the fourth quarter of 2011.

West Yorkshire
Culturally Bradford’s diversity is celebrated in a host of options for entertaining. Recognised nationally as home to some of the UK’s finest Asian cuisine, Bradford also offers country pubs, highly regarded local ales and the spectacular Edwardian Theatre – the Alhambra.
    
A short distance from Bradford is the delightful World Heritage Village of Saltaire, at the heart of which is Salt’s Mill, a colossal old mill building now home to the one of the largest David Hockney collections in the world. A little further afield is the literary village of Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters and a fantastic spot to absorb the atmosphere of the moors.
    
Leeds and West Yorkshire abound with unusual meeting spaces to entertain and amuse delegates and corporate clients. The National Media Museum in Bradford offers an unusual meeting and exhibition space with its IMAX cinema and impressive permanent and touring exhibitions. Team building activities include scripting and filming a TV show! Nearby Eureka! – the award winning museum for children boasts many interactive opportunities as well as fine dining in luxurious surroundings.
    
Other attractions in nearby Calderdale include the wonderful Grade I listed Piece Hall, a striking legacy of the textile industry and Dean Clough. Dean Clough, once a textile factory, is now an arts, theatre, shop and office complex, complete with a live jazz venue and can accommodate conferences for up to 200 people.

Yorkshire South
Yorkshire South Tourism, representing Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley, is a business destination going from strength to strength. In the last year the partnership has won an array of high-profile awards including ‘Best UK Destination’ at International Confex 2008 and 2009 and bronze in the ‘Best Convention Bureau’ category at this year’s Meetings & Incentive Travel Industry Awards. The ‘Best UK Destination’ award has never been won by the same destination two years running so it was an industry first for Yorkshire South.
    
Further success came in May 2009 when Sheffield retained the Snooker World Championship for a further five years and Sheffield was crowned the host destination for the BBC flagship Sports Personality of the Year Show (SPOTY). The double glory for Sheffield, which sees the SPOTY event hosted outside London for only the second time, confirms the city’s growing reputation as a world-class sporting and events destination. The city will also be staging one of the biggest music events in the UK this year, the U2 summer concert at the Don Valley Stadium, which will showcase the city and the region as a superb location for events.
    
The region is a prime choice for conference and event organisers due to its central location, excellent transport links and the choice of bustling, cosmopolitan cities and towns to the more relaxing Peak District National Park and Pennines. The partnership is also renowned for its wide range of quirky, unique and diverse venues including sporting, academic, cultural, historic and environmental as well as an assorted range of budget to boutique hotels.

Sporting venues
Key sporting venues from the region include Sheffield International Venues, one of the largest sport, leisure and entertainment companies in the North of England, playing host to 13 venues across the city.

At Sheffield United, there are four spacious conference and events suites available and 31 executive boxes for two to 400 guests. SUFC also offers the intimate setting ‘Legends of the Lane’ which houses one of English football’s most comprehensive collections of memorabilia spanning the amazing history of Bramall Lane. Legends of the Lane also houses the original hand written ‘Holy Grail’ rule book of Association Football, laid down by Sheffield F.C and now the basis of football wherever it is played in the world today.

Home to football team the Doncaster Rovers and rugby’s Doncaster Lakers, the multi-activity £32 million Keepmoat Stadium hosts a variety of rooms to accommodate meetings, lunches and dinners from ten to 350. Doncaster is also home to the famous 300 year old Doncaster Racecourse, one of the most celebrated courses in the UK, with visitors flocking to the track from across the country and beyond for the St Leger Festival – the world’s oldest classic horserace.  

History and culture
The award-winning Museums Sheffield: Millennium Gallery offers an unusual and contemporary venue in the heart of the city. The Galleries are an inspiring and energetic centre for visual art, craft and design, displaying fantastic exhibitions of national treasures, including the recently displayed blockbusters Vivienne Westwood and Treasures from the V&A, alongside the city’s unique metalwork and decorative art collections.
    
Sheffield International Venues flagship facility, Sheffield City Hall, is one of the city’s most stunning buildings, home to 400 events per year including Sheffield International Concert Season.
    
Winner of the Enjoy England Award for Business Tourism in 2006 and the White Rose Award for Business Tourism in 2007, Magna, the former Templeborough Steelworks is a breathtaking venue that is equipped to host any event. The award-winning venue offers a range of breathtaking spaces for all types of events, from parties, dinners, dance events and weddings to product launches, conferences and team building opportunities.

Academic venues
Situated in the heart of Sheffield Conference 21, the dedicated conference office for Sheffield Hallam University, offers a range of facilities which are suitable for conferences, meetings, training sessions, exhibitions, social events and more. The redevelopment of the Owen Building on level six was completed in September 2008 with a re-creation of the catering areas on that level. Developments included Chef Hallam Central, a new catering and events area; improved service facilities; wi-fi access; and Hallam View (formerly The Howard Suite) was refurbished with an increase in glazed areas to open up the space and to create a view of Hallam Square; this has created a more appropriate dining room environment suitable for conferencing, entertaining and fine dining.
    
conferenceswithUS at The University of Sheffield has invested over £160m in refurbishing its existing facilities and can now provide capacity for up to 1250 delegates with 3500 bedrooms on site. With over 150 meeting rooms ranging from tiered lecture theatres to purpose built conference suites, the University provides enough flexibility to host a range of events from day meetings and training days to residential conferences and exhibitions. During vacation periods, there is a choice of accommodation to suit everyone’s budget, with up to 4000 en suite and 1050 standard bedrooms, catering for bed and breakfast bookings as well as residential conferences.
    
Yorkshire South is a thriving and developing destination with many of its existing venues investing in new facilities as well as new venues adding to the region’s impressive portfolio. 2009 saw the opening of Sheffield’s largest hotel, Jurys Inn, and the launch of the first Copthorne Hotel in Yorkshire situated alongside the refurbished facilities at Sheffield United Football Club.

For more information
Yorkshire South:
Web: www.yorkshiresouth.com
Tel: 0114 281 4048

Conference Leeds:
E-mail: info@conference-leeds.com
Tel: 0113 2206351
Web: www.conference-leeds.com

Hull & East Yorkshire
Tel: 01482 486500 or Web: www.heyconferences.co.uk

Conference York
01904 554453
Web: www.conferenceyork.com
E-mail: conference@york-tourism.co.uk

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