Unique Venues of London (UVL) has announced six new members will join its collection of dynamic events spaces, effective from this month.
The most diverse consortium in the city, UVL’s new members include Kew Palace, the National Portrait Gallery, Twickenham Stadium, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the Wellcome Collection and the Whitechapel Gallery, bringing UVL to a total of 78 members.
Together this enables UVL to offer event organisers and planners several new gallery spaces, royal residences, substantially more outdoor space and another world class stadium in addition to the existing portfolio of museums, iconic buildings and attractions.
A few highlights of the new venues include:
The most intimate of royal residences, Kew Palace has been a favourite entertainment venue for King's and Queen's for centuries, most recently for the celebration of HM Queen Elizabeth's 80th birthday. Guests can hold events and meetings in its royal splendour including George III’s Dining Room for up to 30 guests, and receptions in the Dining Room, Queen’s Garden, King’s Breakfast Room or King’s Library. Kew Palace also offers tours of the palace including areas not open to the public, as well as tours of the Elizabethan undercroft, housing an extensive display of art drawn from the Royal Collection, including silver and paintings, all with unique links to the building and the Georgian Royal Family.
National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery houses the finest collection of portraits in the world, offering a unique insight into the men and women who have shaped British culture from the Middle Ages to the present day. The venue can hold events, meetings and dinners in a range of spaces and galleries over three floors including the Ondaatje Wing Theatre and the rooftop Portrait Restaurant with its unparalleled views over Trafalgar Square and the London skyline. Guests can also experience guided tours of the Gallery, including work across all mediums, from painting and sculpture to photography and video of sitters ranging from Elizabeth I to David Beckham.
The Home of England Rugby and the National Stadium, Twickenham Stadium brings its unique retractable tiered auditorium along with many other flexible events spaces to UVL. Along with stadium tours, the venue can also host drinks receptions in the player’s tunnel or pitch side, pitch side barbeques for up to 300 guests and even dinner in the England changing rooms for up to 55 people, hosted by a player.
Royal Hospital Chelsea
Founded in 1682 by King Charles II, the Royal Hospital Chelsea is home to the iconic Chelsea Pensioners. Considered to be one of Sir Christopher Wren’s finest works in brick, the venue offers a 66 acre estate suitable for a whole range of events, teambuilding activities and private tours of the Royal Hospital led by a Chelsea Pensioner guide. The venue includes numerous indoor and outdoor events spaces such as the Great Hall, State Apartments, Wren Chapel and South Ranelagh Gardens.
Wellcome Collection offers inspiring gallery spaces for drinks receptions, historical dining in the surrounds of the Wellcome Library’s reading room, as well as a conference centre with the state of the art Henry Wellcome Auditorium at its heart. Delegates can include tours of the exhibitions and permanent galleries within their meetings and events.
Founded in 1901, the Grade II* Arts & Crafts building is a benchmark for contemporary art and a world-class venue for entertaining. For over a century the Gallery has premiered internationally acclaimed artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George and Mark Wallinger. Neighbouring the city and located on the edge of the Olympic site, the gallery offers 3,600 sq. m of event space in 13 spaces, including nine galleries, two studios and a purpose-built auditorium suitable for events with up to 500 delegates. The Whitechapel Gallery also provides guided tours and the chance to ‘name an exhibition’.
Moya Maxwell, Chairman of UVL comments: “2012 promises to be an exciting time for London and UVL and we are delighted to welcome these new members. Each offers something truly unusual and ensures that the consortium continues to represent London’s unique history, architecture and heritage – everything that makes the capital a fantastic destination for events. UVL continues to offer venues with a unique and historic connection to London, remaining the perfect complement during the Olympic Games period and beyond”.
The new members will be represented in UVL’s new pocket sized brochure available from February. UVL will be promoting all 78 members at the UK Venue Show, 1-2 February, stand number V120. To see all existing UVL members log on to www.uniquevenuesoflondon.co.uk.