York is to host the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in 2017, for a third successive year.
The three-day event will run from the 17–19 March next year, the city’s destination organisation Make It York announced.
York Barbican Centre will be the main conference venue and Novotel York will welcome the leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron MP, and act as tje party conference HQ. A programme of fringe events will take place in various venues across the city.
The conference is expected to bring 1,400 delegates to the city over the three days and Make It York estimates the economic value to the city will be in the region of £1m.
Tim Farron said: “York is an extremely special place and has always provided us with a fantastic welcome. I’m delighted that we are able to return to the city again and we look forward to welcoming our members from right across the UK. The VisitYork4Meetings team at Make It York has provided us with great support and we look forward to bringing our Spring Conference to York again.”
Cllr. Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat deputy leader of City of York Council, added: “York continues to be a popular destination for conferences and events of all sizes. The city’s appeal is evident with the sheer number of returning visits, so the very fact that the Liberal Democrats have chosen York for the third time is a fantastic endorsement for all that York has to offer business visitors.”
The bureau reports that York hosts 16,000 meetings, conferences and events a year, with business tourism generating £140.7m in income for the city in 2014 – a quarter of the total visitor spend.
York’s conference and meetings portfolio is being expanded with recent venue projects including the addition of Hotel Indigo, and developments at The Grand Hotel & Spa, The Royal York Hotel, York Art Gallery and The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre.
Andrew Sharp, head of business, Make It York, added: “York has an international reputation as a world-class leisure destination and now we are starting to see the city gain in stature as a brilliant place for business visits and conferences. Recent openings such as Stay City adjacent to York Barbican mean that York can now attract bigger and higher profile conferences and events.”