The Celtic Manor Resort has confirmed plans for a new Wales International Convention Centre which would attract leading conferences from all over the world.
The Welsh Government will provide match funding for the initial design and planning stage for the state-of-the-art convention centre which would include a new auditorium, exhibition hall and associated facilities with capacity for around 4,000 delegates, making it the largest facility of its kind in Wales or the south west of England.
The match funding scheme was announced today (November 20) by Minister for Economy Edwina Hart and Celtic Manor Resort Chairman Sir Terry Matthews. It will allow Celtic Manor to submit a proposal for outline planning consent next year.
Celtic Manor Resort Chairman Sir Terry Matthews said:
We’ve made no secret of our desire to expand our successful business at The Celtic Manor and build on our status as the best conference hotel in the UK. It makes me proud to be working with the Welsh Government to deliver the International Convention Centre that Wales so badly needs.
The Celtic Manor has been voted No 1 Conference Hotel for five years running but, at the moment, we’re in a position where we have to turn away business because we do not have the capacity to satisfy certain events. Turning away business is not something I am in the habit of doing!
Development of this convention centre will ensure that we attract significant new business to Wales. It will rival any convention facility in Europe and act as a magnet for major events, bringing huge benefits to the Welsh economy.
Welsh Government Minister for Economy Edwina Hart said:
The Celtic Manor is already a world-class facility, hosting the Ryder Cup for Wales in 2010 and will be in the global spotlight again as it prepares for the first NATO summit to be hosted in the UK since 1990. I am pleased we are able to support the vision of Sir Terry and his team at Celtic Manor, to build on the existing success and track record of the venue and, subject to planning consents, take forward proposals to create a world-class convention centre in south Wales.
The proposed Wales International Convention Centre at Celtic Manor would be able to compete on size and quality with any other comparable venue across the border, attracting more business and business people to the South East Wales City Region area.
The Wales International Convention Centre would have the capacity to attract much bigger events to Wales like political party conferences, international summits and showpiece conferences for multinational, blue chip companies and large associations.
The development would create substantial employment opportunities and provide a long-term boost for the economy with hotels and other businesses throughout South Wales reaping enormous benefits from the events and activities staged there.
The new convention centre would allow Wales to compete for major conference business with destinations like Liverpool, Dublin and Edinburgh, where economic benefit to the city region has been reported at more than £350m since its International Convention Centre opened in 1995.
The proposed development would be fully integrated with the existing convention centre at The Celtic Manor which already holds the Caernarfon Suite, for up to 1,500 delegates, and an additional 31 syndicate and meeting rooms. It would also benefit from the high profile of Celtic Manor, the expertise of its personnel and the strong reputation and brand that has been established in the conference and events marketplace.
For more information on conferences at Celtic Manor, visit celtic-manor.com or call 01633 410252.