Newcastle venue to stage Lib Dem party conference

The Sage Gateshead in Newcastle will host the Liberal Democrats' party conference in March next year.

It is the third time in five years that the convention centre has secured a political conference in the spring, having staged the Conservatives' event in 2005 and the Labour meeting in 2008.

Around 1,500 delegates are expected to attend the conference, generating more than £1 million for the north-east's economy and providing a boost for local venues.

"Securing conferences of this stature and significance reinforces our position as a leading UK conference destination," said Jessica Roberts, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau.

She added that it was the perfect opportunity to showcase the "twin cities".

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said the Sage Gateshead's world-class facilities and the area's top-quality hotels were among the "obvious attractions" of holding the conference in the north-east.

Manchester Central will stage Labour's 2012 and 2014 conferences, it was announced in August.

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