The team behind ICC Wales, due to open at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport in 2019, has hosted a select group of UK Association conference managers for the venue’s first official familiarisation trip.
The visitors were given, in the venue’s words, “24 fabulous hours of building brilliance”.
The itinerary included a dinner on arrival, a chance to make traditional Welsh cakes with the team behind ICC Wales’s emerging food and beverage offer, and a master class in singing.
Delegates were taken through the detailed plans for ICC Wales at the newly opened marketing suite for the venue, which also offers a bird’s eye view of the construction site. ICC Wales will provide total floor space for meetings, conferences and events of 26,000sqm –equivalent to four international rugby pitches.
Ian Edwards, CEO, ICC Wales and the Celtic Manor Resort, commented: “It was wonderful to be able to share our plans for ICC Wales with some of the UK’s key associations. We were keen for them to see the site, how far we’ve come already and to showcase our vision for an amazing future. Demonstrating the friendliness and impact of a warm Welsh welcome was also important to us. We have a unique appeal as a conference centre, not just as a highly qualified event management team looking after a state-of-the-art purpose-built venue, but also as a destination that offers real warmth, pride and hospitality.”
Jane Elsom, research project manager for Alzheimers Research UK, said: “It was fascinating to see the site and the vision for what will no doubt be a major new addition to the UK conference and events scene. Wales is long overdue a purpose-built conference centre of this size and scale. It’s in a great location and easily accessible from all over the country which makes a big difference in how delegates perceive a conference venue.”
An £83.7m joint venture between Celtic Manor and Welsh Government, ICC Wales is now established as a separate company. It will accommodate 5,000 delegates and includes a 4,000sqm pillar-free main hall, a 1,500-seated auditorium, 12 flexible meeting rooms, a double-height glass atrium and a 2,500sqm outdoor plaza.