For first-class venues, your choice is academic. H&E North takes a closer look at the north’s academic venues scene.

University of Manchester's Whitworth Hall, one of the university's academic venues

University of Manchester’s Whitworth Hall

Finding the perfect venue doesn’t have to be a challenging aspect of planning events or meetings. There is a group of venues that are something of a hidden gem for event planners; these academic venues really break the mould.

The LICA Building, one of the academic venues at Lancaster University

LICA Building at Lancaster University

Academic venues provide the perfect backdrop to conferences, events and meetings for many reasons, not least that they are designed for one of the most discerning audiences around. The younger generation is leading the way in technology, experience creation and meeting format design in today’s world. Academic venues understand these trends ahead of the masses, with their spaces often designed to provide cutting-edge learning environments.

Technology plays a critical role in both learning and event planning, and this is one of the areas where academic venues shine. In addition to fast Wi-Fi, you can expect to be inspired by options such as social media boards, virtual education, 360-degree projection, voting tools for audience participation and much more, helping to bring your events to life.

An interior shot of the University of Liverpool's Victoria Gallery and Museum, one of the university's academic venues

University of Liverpool’s Victoria Gallery and Museum

Naturally, finding the right venue depends heavily on the type of event and its goals. Making the right choice can make or break your event and create memorable experiences for your delegates.

Many academic venues offer a very different environment from standard hotel or chain meeting space options. Often at the heart of their community, academic venues can be spread across a beautiful rural campus or vibrant city centre. Delegates are wowed by original 19th century teaching buildings, located right next door to a newly-built lecture complex with break-out and refreshment spaces ­­– they can be one part architecturally unique, the other steeped in history; sometimes both!

Northern Highlights

MediaCity lightbox, one of the University of Salford's academic venues

MediaCity Lightbox at the University of Salford

If you’re looking for a dynamic and creative environment with exciting facilities, then the University of Salford is located right next to MediaCityUK offering broadcast, green screen and creative studio spaces. Other innovative academic venues in the North West are housed in historically significant buildings, from the red bricks of the University of Liverpool and the University of Manchester to the Grade II listed mansion house, Keele Hall, at Keele University.

An exterior shot of Leeds Beckett University's Rose Bowl, one of the university's academic venues

Leeds Beckett University’s Rose Bowl

Heading further north to Lancaster University, you’ll find the LICA Building. This iconic venue was awarded BREEAM outstanding certification for sustainability. Similarly, the eco-friendly City Campus at the University of Northumbria forms a dramatic part of the Newcastle skyline and hosts up to 400 people right in the heart of the North East capital.

In Yorkshire, Leeds offers a host of exciting academic meeting options with the iconic Rose Bowl from Well Met Conferencing, state-of-the-art sports and training facilities at MeetinLeeds and superb lecture facilities at the University of Law. While the University of York offers fantastic opportunities for residential conferences, meeting and social spaces conveniently within the campus.

Making your next event, memorable, creative, entertaining and efficient is all academic when you choose to book one of the Academic Venue Solutions collection.

Academic Venue Solutions offers high-quality conference venues and accommodation across the UK. To find out more about its free venue finding service, visit

An interior shot of Conference Auditorium, one of the University of Leeds' academic venues

Conference Auditorium at the University of Leeds