Plans for a major new conference centre in Wales have been given the green light.
Construction work on the new Wales International Convention Centre at Celtic Manor will begin in the new year, after the project won full planning approval from Newport City Council.
Designed to attract major events from across the world, the proposed state-of-the-art auditorium, exhibition hall and associated facilities will have capacity for 4,000 delegates, making it the largest facility of its kind in Wales and the south west of England.
The auditorium will hold 1,500 delegates with the flexibility to divide into smaller spaces and a separate main exhibition hall will stretch to 4,000sqm of pillar-free space and be able to accommodate up to 2,700 guests for a gala dinner. Total floor space across the convention centre will exceed 27,000sqm.
Convention centre facilities will include:
– 1,500-seat tiered auditorium
– 4,000 sqm pillar-free exhibition/conference hall, holding 2,700 gala dinner guests and divisible into six sections
– 13 additional flexible syndicate meeting rooms
– Spacious lobby, atrium and breakout spaces
– Outdoor terraces and adjacent woodland
– Entrance plaza with outdoor theatre potential
More than 200 jobs will be created during the three-year construction phase and the centre is expected to sustain around 250 permanent jobs once it is fully operational in 2019. Independent economic impact studies show it will bring a substantial boost to the Welsh economy, creating around 110,000 bedroom nights per annum for hotels throughout South Wales.
Celtic Manor Resort vice-president of facilities and development, Russell Phillips, said: “We are excited by the news that this project has won full planning approval from Newport City Council.
“We secured outline planning last July and, since then, we’ve been talking with local residents, the council and environment agencies, as well as our conference clients and experts from the convention industry, to ensure our final planning submission was as comprehensive as possible.
“We will now be able to start some clearance work at the end of this year with a view to breaking ground on the new international convention centre in January 2016.”