Manchester Central reported a 21% rise in conference business to April finishing £2m ahead of its previous record.
The venue has secured Ocean Media and the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual conference and exhibition up until 2022. This is on top of multi-year deals with four national association clients.
Located at First Street, site of the former Gaythorn Gasworks, it is Manchester’s first micro-brewery bar.
The Crystal Maze Experience
Following a sell-out run in London, the team challenge the Crystal Maze Experience comes to Manchester from April 2017.
Europe’s first virtual-reality centre
IMAX’s first virtual-reality entertainment centre in Europe will open in Manchester’s Printworks multiplex by the New Year.
Junk Yard Golf
Taking over the Piccadilly Place building, Junk Yard Golf offers a new take on mini-golf with two ‘mashed up’ courses featuring junk and obstacles for players to negotiate while local DJs play and street food vendors serve up their fare.
North by North West
Bolton Whites hotel at Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium’s recent event successes include Bolton Beer Festival and the Punch Taverns roadshow.
GM Suzanne Speak tells CN the beer festival attracted 6,000 attendees, while the Premier Suite hosted 200 publicans for the Punch Taverns roadshow.
“We have seen the lead time for the corporate market decrease although lead times of award dinners remain static as clients have a preferred date each year,” Speak notes and says the hotel offers a room only weddings package, which allows couples to bring in their own specialist catering companies.
“With a capacity for more than 1,000, we’ve hosted weddings which saw us transform the suite into the Taj Mahal,” says Speak.
Deirdre Billing, general manager of Mottram Hall in Cheshire says the North West represents “significantly better value for money” than London.
“Initiatives such as the Northern Powerhouse have gone a long way to increasing the profile of the region, which now means the business and economic reasons for visiting are on a par with the cultural draws, which have traditionally driven the market.”
Southport shining for 2017
Another classic English resort with a big accent on conferencing is Southport, which styles itself also as the ‘golf coast’. The British Open comes to Royal Birkdale in 2017.
Big events confirmed for 2017 include conferences for the NUJ, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers as well as a swathe of political, medical and leisure organisations coming to town.