Members of Unique Venues of London (UVL) are undergoing a series of refurbishments in honour of London’s biggest year.
In 2012, seven of the most recognisable UVL venues are undergoing transformations during the capital’s most exciting year for events, totalling in excess of £19million.
Cutty Sark, a national icon of British maritime history, re-launches this month. The recently conserved venue will allow delegates to dine beneath and aboard the three-masted sailing ship, which is the last surviving tea clipper. From October, all of Cutty Sark’s three decks will be available for exclusive hire alongside an exciting new space in the dry berth. After being raised three metres above the dry dock, events can be hosted directly underneath the hull of the ship. This 1,000m2 gallery will accommodate over 200 people for formal dining or over 300 for receptions.
Also recently opened is Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, (formerly the St James’s Restaurant) on the fourth floor of the much-loved Piccadilly store. Refurbished for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and officially opened by Her Majesty, the Tea Salon includes the Drawing Room, which can host private functions and has built-in audio visual facilities for conferencing. The space will include luxurious décor with specialist hand painted wallpaper reflecting Fortnum & Mason’s heritage and its quintessentially British atmosphere.
May is a busy month for UVL, with the Museum of London launching its new Terrace Suite, consisting of three redeveloped spaces in the heart of the city. The Terrace Gallery, Garden Room and Terrace Boardroom are each installed with high-specification facilities including a fixed projector and an in-built public announcement system. May also sees the iconic Wellington Arch reopening after an extensive refurbishment. The landmark venue will add a new floor to give improved access to the famous balconies overlooking Hyde Park with their amazing views of London and the Buckingham Palace gardens. Sir John Soane’s Museum is also undergoing an extensive £7million refurbishment. The first phase of the project is the restoration of No 12 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, built by architect John Soane, which will include improved disabled access, new conservation studios, shop and a temporary exhibition gallery. The project is due to finish in time for the Olympic Games with the first exhibition on stadia sponsored by Populous, designers the London Olympic Stadium.
Finally, Kew Gardens has invested £200,000 pounds converting a disused wing of the Sir Joseph Banks Building into a new subterranean events space. This is in addition to another significant UVL refurbishment – the two year, £12million development at Kensington Palace which includes new gardens, café and a terrace.
Moya Maxwell, Chairman of UVL comments: “With such a diverse range of exciting upgrades and developments, Unique Venues of London remains a leading choice for event organisers. The developments highlight all that is truly unique about our collection of venues and further adds to the amazing portfolio on offer in London for 2012 and beyond”.