Venueupdata

£1.5m events operation underway in Edinburgh


The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has plans to open its fourth conference and events venue at its South Side home. It is undertaking the £1.5 million revamp of Edinburgh University’s former European Language School building, transforming it into three floors of event space. Commercial director Scott Mitchell said: “Inside we’ll have three floors of purpose-built space to suit everything from exhibitions and ceilidhs to small scale boardroom meetings or a theatre-style auditorium for up to 160 people. It will be a hugely versatile space and will sit perfectly between our other venues - the historic grandeur of the Playfair Hall and the glass and chrome modernism of our Quincentenary Conference Hall. We expect this to become one of the best known venues in Edinburgh.”
 

Manchester's hidden chapel now up for hire


After being disused for more than 40 years, Manchester’s Albert Hall is now available for corporate hire. Built in 1910, the Grade II listed Wesleyan chapel closed in 1969, before being resurrected as a music venue in 2013 by Trof, the people behind Manchester venues Gorilla and The Deaf Institute. The stunning main hall has baroque and gothic influences, featuring stained glass windows, an ornate ceiling and a century old organ, while the upper tier has wooden seating in a horseshoe shape. The Albert Hall can seat 400 cabaret style and 500 for a conference, with the upper tier available for use as a reception area.
 

Northumberland hotel gets onsite observatory


Battlesteads Hotel in Northumberland is to become the first hotel in the UK with an onsite observatory. The hotel sits on the edge of Northumberland National Park, the largest protected Dark Sky Park in Europe, offering an unrivalled vantage point from which to admire the county’s dramatic night-time sky. Launching in March, the hotel’s observatory will be fully accessible throughout the night to guests staying in one of the hotel’s five newly constructed eco-lodges. Facing south, it can accommodate up to 25 budding or seasoned astronomers and is equipped with the latest telescopes and binoculars. Battlesteads will also run stargazing courses with professional astronomer Roy Alexander.
 

Pubs on Wheels raises the bar


A new mobile bar service aims to bring the traditional British pub to your next event. Pubs on Wheels, which was launched in October, has converted two former MoD seven-tonne trucks (named Monty and Vera Lynn) into self-contained and portable bars which are fully functioning, down to the beers on draft. The pubs, which have already been booked by Newbury Racecouse, Surrey County Show and British Polo for 2015, can be fully branded for bespoke events or sponsorship activations.
 

Thorpe Park's law of the jungle


Corporate delegates can follow in the footsteps of their favourite celebrities with a new team building experience based on I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here. Recreating the ITV show’s jungle environment and Bush Tucker Trials, the Surrey theme park’s experience features special effects to breathe animatronic life into the jungle such as multi-sensory ‘leg ticklers’ that simulate the feeling of being covered head-to-toe in bothersome bugs, a vibrating bridge walkway to delegates unsteady on their feet and moving trees and walls. Other trials include the chamber of horrors, calamity caves and celebrity cyclone – featuring water jets and 56mph winds. Full day meetings and events packages at Thorpe Park start at £85pp.
 

Discover dining at Great North Museums


Three of Newcastle’s biggest visitor attractions are opening their doors to diners. The Great North Museum: Hancock, Discovery Museum and the Laing Art Gallery have unveiled a range of private dining menus with a local theme created by Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events. Sandria Charalambous of Sodexo Prestige said: “The main attraction of the venues is their versatility. An event could begin with a drinks reception in the shadow of the historic SS Turbinia and continue with dinner in Discovery’s art nouveau Great Hall. Alternatively, guests could dine alongside a life-sized replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex at the Great North Museum: Hancock or within view of some of the finest pre-Raphaelite paintings at the Laing.”
 

Rooftop pop-up comes round for second summer


Camden’s famed music venue The Roundhouse will bring back its Roundhouse Rooftop Gardens pop-up this summer. Launched last year, the exclusive-use venue, for between 40 and 100 guests, proved popular with corporate clients including The Guardian, Comedy Central and TVC Group. The gardens are available between 17 July and 23 August and feature sun loungers, armchairs, a sound system and a hot tub. Packages include a glass of Prosecco on arrival followed by unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks, as well as catering by the London Kitchen, while summer party menus include canapés and barbecue options.
 

Soap star glamour at Manchester tea rooms


Annies restaurant and tea rooms in Manchester has launched a new group offer and hosting experience. A hidden gem, nestling just off St Ann’s Square, Annie’s homely feel has been carefully curated by owner and Coronation Street actress Jennie McAlpine. She said: “Lots of places leave me cold and we had a very clear picture of the setting that we were trying to create when we designed Annies. It’s a place to come for sticky buns, deep cream cakes, a hot bowl of home made soup or a slice of Manchester tart with a brew.” McAlpine hosts exclusive visits to the restaurant and tearooms, subject to availability, to add a personal touch to the group visitor experience.
 

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