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The Liberal Democrat Party is to hold its Spring Conference, in March 2011, at Sheffield City Hall. It will be the first time that Sheffield – has played host to such a high calibre national conference of this size and nature and the announcement is being greeted as excellent news for the city and the region.
Approximately 1,500 delegates, are expected to attend the event, which will run from 11th – 13th March, with Sheffield City Hall as the main conference venue. Whilst Mercure St Paul’s will be the HQ hotel, many more of the city’s hotels, as well as restaurants, bars and shops, will gain significant business from the conference; the total value to the local economy is predicted to be in excess of £1 million.
For Sheffield City Hall, attracting this major national event comes hot on the heels of a hugely successful year in 2009, which saw the venue win Business Insider – Destination Yorkshire’s Award for Large Venue of the year as well as the prestigious overall Grand Prix Award on the evening. This was followed by Welcome to Yorkshire’s White Rose Award for Business Tourism and the team are currently waiting to find out whether the venue has been shortlisted for the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence. For SIV, the conference comes on the back of some major events which include U2 and most recently BBC Sports Personality of the Year which was held at Sheffield Arena in December.
Dominic Stokes, General Manager of Sheffield City Hall as well as General Manager of SIV Conferencing and Business Events, said: “This announcement is not only great news for Sheffield City Hall – but also for the city’s hotels, restaurants and other service providers; as well as bringing huge economic benefit to Sheffield, it is also a valuable opportunity to showcase the city and its capability for hosting major national events. Along with our colleagues across the city, we are looking forward to using our proven experience and expertise in managing large-scale events to ensure that the Liberal Democrats’ Conference is both a successful and memorable event for all the delegates.”
Sheffield City Hall, a stunning Art Deco building located at the heart of the city, is well equipped to welcome the delegates; it hosts over 700 events per year, from large-scale association conferences, corporate hospitality and business events, such as Visit Britain AGM and Trade Fora and the Re:Inventing the City – International Economic Summit (2008 and 2009), as well as television broadcasts, including BBC Antiques Roadshow. The venue is also home to the Sheffield International Concert Season and has hosted major entertainment acts such as JLS, Morrissey, Ricky Gervais, Jason Manford and many more. With capacity for over 2,000 delegates, the venue was refurbished and re-opened in 2005, preserving the original 1930s features whilst installing stat- of-the- art technology tailored to the needs of the conference and events market.
Sheffield City Hall is operated by Sheffield International Venues (SIV), the largest sport, leisure and entertainment company in the North of England.
Commenting on the success of the city in attracting nationally significant events, the Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, John Mothersole, said: “Sheffield is fast developing an enviable national profile as a first rate venue for major events and is following in the success of others in this field such as Manchester, Brighton and Bournemouth. This news will only bolster Sheffield’s reputation and we plan to build upon that recognition and success in the future.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, added: “Yorkshire South has been named the UK’s Business Tourism Destination of the Year for an unprecedented 2 years running – and it’s no co-incidence that we are seeing major national and international events like this being attracted to Sheffield. Winning and hosting this major conference is an excellent opportunity to highlight Sheffield’s unbeatable offering of venues and hotels; it’s also a great example of how venues and Yorkshire South Tourism work seamlessly together to achieve such successes.”