VisitYork4Meetings has revealed that developments totalling over £20m are to take place across York’s hotels and venues in 2015.
“Our aim is to ensure that York is just as popular a destination to hold a conference or event as it is for a leisure break,” says Laura Freer, Marketing Manager for VisitYork4Meetings, the business tourism arm of Visit York. “With a raft of investment planned at some of the city’s key venues, we hope to attract high profile conferences and events into York for 2015 and beyond.”
Hotel developments include a £3m transformation of the Best Western Monkbar Hotel, which will increase the city centre suite and conference space. Total capacity for meetings will increase from 140 to 250 delegates.
On the attractions front, investments include the £8m redevelopment of York Art Gallery, which will see the gallery space increased by 60 per cent, as well as a suite of three new galleries. The Art gallery will reopen in summer 2015 and will be available for corporate functions including drinks receptions.
Also in 2015, a £4.1m capital redevelopment at York Theatre Royal will see the most significant investment in the theatre since the 1960’s. York Racecourse will add a sixth restaurant to its offer, its new Parade Ring Restaurant will open on 13 May 2015, the first day of the racing season. Suitable for corporate hospitality on race days, the space will be available for hire as a meeting room on non-race days.
The National Railway Museum will launch a new carriage in January 2015; the Countess of York. A refurbished railway carriage, located in the Courtyard of the museum, will offer new space for fine-dining and afternoon tea and is available for exclusive hire.
“Never before have we seen so much investment in York venue offering in one year,” says Freer. “This is an exciting time for business tourism in York and these new developments will add to York’s range of venues.”
With over 16,000 meetings, conferences and events taking place in York, business tourism generates £148.9m annual income for the city, according to the bureau. The figure represents 25 per cent of total visitor spend in the city.
Image credit: Peter Heaton
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