St Martins House Conference Centre benefits from £1m of funding

St Martins House Conference Centre is to be part of a major redevelopment scheme following the announcement of £1m of European Union funding being awarded to Leicester’s Cathedral Quarter, alongside funding from Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council.
Work on the project is due to start at the beginning of November.
Leicester City Council made the successful bid to the European Regional Development Fund towards a £2.5m project to create Cathedral Gardens, a new public area outside Leicester Cathedral, and reconstruct Peacock Lane, where the conference centre is located.
The work will make up part of the newly-announced Cathedral Quarter, which will also include Guildhall Lane, St Martin’s East, Peacock Lane and Applegate. The aim is to create a historic district, with the King Richard III Visitor Centre as a key attraction.
The European Regional Development Fund programme was established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.
“The finished gardens will give us a valuable outdoor space in addition to the existing Grand Hall and series of meeting rooms we already offer,” says GM of St Martins House Conference Centre, Nick Quinn. “It will have the potential to be used both as an outdoor venue with seating for up to 800 people and as an informal gathering area for guests attending weddings at the Cathedral or receptions.”
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This is a huge step forward for the wider plans to create a new Cathedral Quarter, which will help make this historic area an even more attractive destination for visitors and something the whole city can be proud of.
“The award clearly recognises the economic benefits that investment in this fantastic project will bring to the city.”
The City Mayor has also confirmed that the city council will make a contribution of £950,000 towards the overall project costs, and also manage the construction contract, which is due to be awarded imminently. Leicestershire County Council has already pledged £250,000 funding to the cathedral. This will pay for new artwork and a contribution towards the scheme.
Cathedral Gardens will create a new public space outside Leicester’s historic cathedral, including a lawn with seating, gardens planted with trees and flowers, and a water feature. It will combine the precincts of the cathedral with the car park of the redeveloped St Martins House Conference Centre and diocese building to create a much bigger open space.
Leicester’s statue of King Richard III, which currently stands in Castle Gardens, will be relocated to the new gardens. Leicestershire County Council is also commissioning a new work of art, to signify the links between the site of Richard III’s death on Bosworth Battlefield and the cathedral, as part of the project.
As part of the Cathedral Gardens scheme, the city council will improve Peacock Lane with new high quality paving, a level carriageway and new street furniture.
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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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