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NEWS2012June 2012 . www.conference-news.co.uk . 7 Figures released by The Jockey Club reflect a growing presence in the UK conference and events market, now worth £19.7m a year to the Jockey Club's Venues arm. The 14­strong venue collection of UK racecourses now accounts for an increasing 16.5 per cent share of the group's total turnover of £139.4m. Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket Racecourses all sit within the collection. Events to come to the courses later this year include a visit from The Queen, as Her Majesty kicks off her Diamond Jubilee celebrations at Epsom Downs, the Olympic torch arriving at Cheltenham and Jessie J performing at Newmarket.John Baker, Group Director of Operations at Jockey Club Venues, said: "We have made clear headway in the sector with our enquiry levels up on last year. "We have one of the largest portfolios of spaces, from the large scale to the more intimate, and are looking to further develop this key area. "Weddings, festivals and of course corporate events are key to enabling us to help grow the business, in turn allowing us to invest back into the sport of horseracing."Events going fi rm for Jockey Club venuesThe Liberal Democrats have chosen Liverpool for their annual autumn conference in September 2014. The event will be held at ACC Liverpool, home to the BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, and is expected to attract 7,500 delegates. It will be the second time the Lib Dems have chosen to hold their most important date on the political calendar in the city and their third visit to Liverpool overall. ACC Liverpool's Chief Executive, Bob Prattey, said: "Our team, along with Liverpool Convention Bureau, has been in talks for many years with the Lib Dems, and with all the political parties, to come to the city to hold their key conferences. When the conference fi nishes is doesn't just stop there, there is a lot of continuous work that goes on behind the scenes. "We want to build on the success of our hosting of last year's Labour Party conference by attracting even more party political events. Lucy Billingsley, Head of Conference Offi ce at the Liberal Democrats, said: "We held our spring conference in Liverpool four years ago and we are confi dent that 2014 will be just as positive."Banks Sadler posts record fi nancial resultsEvent management agency Banks Sadler is celebrating its 30th anniversary with its best fi nancial fi gures to date. The group, which operates in Germany and France and boasts RBS and Allergan among its clients, has posted record operating profi ts of £812k, up 74 per cent on the previous year. CEO Leigh Jagger said the results refl ected the hard work of the Banks Sadler team, "not just in the last year, but over the last few challenging years. Despite diffi cult trading conditions, we have continued to invest heavily in our expansion plans which have helped us to not only retain long­standing accounts but also win some very exciting new global contracts". Group turnover is also up, 40 per cent to £38m. The board is anticipating profi ts increasing through 2012, although Jagger sounded a note of caution. "We are still operating in a cost­conscious environment," she said.Plans for a £4m conference centre near Lake Windermere have been granted approval. The Lake District National Park Authority's development control committee passed the English Lakes hotel group application on 9 May 2012 and the vote was revealed as 12 to one in favour. The 600­delegate convention and exhibition centre, when built, will be the largest of its kind in the Lake District area and is to be constructed next to the A591, opposite the Low Wood Hotel, which is also owned by English Lakes.An innovative heating system will use ground source heat pumps located in the lake to create thermal energy for heating the rooms in the new building. The heat pumps will be run on electricity generated from solar panels located on the roof.Lib Dems pick Liverpool for 2014 conferenceGreenlight for £4m conference centre

NEWS8 . www.conference-news.co.uk . June 2012June Hydro's roof section lifted into place The central roof section of The Hydro, the 12,000-capacity entertainment arena being built in Glasgow, has been lifted into place. The fi xing in place of the 48-metre diameter central section took fi ve-days to complete.Executive General Manager, Gordon Anderson, said the operation was the "most complex feat of engineering in Scotland this year", and a key move in the construction by Land Lease of The Hydro, which sits adjacent to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC). Leeds Met scoops MPI Young Achievers awardA team from Leeds Metropolitan University has been crowned the winner of the MPI UK and Ireland Chapter 2012 Young Achievers Award. Hosted at the Barbican and supported by the Switzerland Convention and Incentive Bureau (SCIB), the annual competition was attended by around 100 meeting industry professionals. Eco-meetings at CrowneEco-conscious event organisers can now offset the carbon footprint of delegate travel with a new green conferencing package from the Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester - Five Lakes.Organisers who wish to take part in the scheme will have their carbon footprint individually calculated and deducted from the total cost. The money will go towards UK and Kenyan tree-planting projects. The four-star resort will also plant a new tree on its golf course for every event contract over £5,000. Situated in 320 acres in Essex, the Crowne Plaza Resort offers 18 meeting rooms for up to 4,000 delegates. Exhibitors at this year's Academic Venue Show have reported a "good event, with a large number of enquiries". The Venuemasters' show, which took place at the Emirates Stadium in London, 16 May, saw 50 academic venues from across the UK exhibit. It also attracted 375 visitors, up 15 per cent on 2011. Speaking to CN at the show, Well Met Conferencing's Business Development Manager, Kate Davis, said: "This year's event was particularly successful for us as exhibitors. There was a large footfall of visitor traffi c to our stand and we have had some positive enquiries."Janet Street-Porter was a guest speaker at the event, which also offered free workshops on negotiating skills.Academic venues have become a fast growing sector in the meetings market and over 30 venues now provide year round meeting and accommodation facilities.Academic Venue Show 15% upBournemouth has launched a direct attack against its conference competitors, with a new voice of business tourism in the seaside town. Key business tourism partners have come together under one banner, Conference Coast, which will be the new conference identity representing the town. The idea is for the Conference Coast identity to provide a joined up working relationship between Bournemouth Tourism Management Board, Bournemouth Area Hotel Association, Bournemouth Conference and Convention Group, Bournemouth International Centre, Coastal Bid and Meet Bournemouth. "Conference Coast will unite Bournemouth's facilities to attract business tourism, improve our business tourism offer and put the town back onto the conference map," Bournemouth International Centre's (BIC) Steve Piper tells CN. The Conference Coast initiative will also be supported by an affi liate scheme, with affi liates promoting the destination and all that is available within it. The destination is currently recruiting 10 affi liates."Economic targets have been diffi cult to maintain," adds Piper. "We need a solid network of allies to help our town. It is all about getting business visitors here."Bournemouth's Conference CoastThe Eastbourne Conference Bureau has won its bid for two conferences over the next four years, which will bring 1,100 delegates to Eastbourne's Devonshire Park Centre. The wins are expected to generate an economic impact of £1m for the local Eastbourne economy. The Royal British Legion is returning with 800 delegates for a three-day conference in 2016. The conference was last there in 2009. The British Mass Spectrometry Society will be visiting the town for the fi rst time in 2013, bringing a further 300 delegates for two days. Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure Cllr Neil Stanley said: "We want our town to become recognised as a premier business destination."£1m economic boost for Eastbourne