With the North Wales Growth Deal expected to be in place in 2019, now is the time to start thinking about North Wales as the next destination for business events.
New investment in the region and a wealth of adventure and accommodation choice for your next event or meeting make North Wales a sound choice for a gathering that will linger long in the memory.
The North Wales Growth Deal aims to create 5,500 jobs and bring an approximate investment of £671 million to the region. A total of 16 projects will be launching to help increase the skills in areas such as low carbon, nuclear energy, university research, better transport links, growing digital businesses, increasing skills and opportunities to keep more young people in the area.
Listed in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel in 2017, North Wales is known as the adventure capital of Europe. Not only does North Wales offer stunning UNESCO World Heritage sites, along with the history of Conwy, Beaumaris, Harlech and Caernarfon castles, the region now also offers a vast range of unique world class attractions alongside a range of venues; indoor and outdoor, purpose-built or historic there is a venue suitable for every event.
Located in the heart of beautiful countryside, set against the mountains of Snowdonia is Surf Snowdonia. A world-first inland surf lagoon and the only guaranteed surf break in the UK, Surf Snowdonia offers completely unique and fun team building activities, designed to re-energise delegates. Surf Snowdonia has a dedicated boardroom that seats up to 20 people with views over the surf lagoon and offers full AV and Wi-Fi and a wall mounted flatscreen.
Other unique experiences that North Wales has to offer include Zip World and Bounce Below, both innovative reinventions of former industrial landscapes which offer meeting spaces. There’s also the world’s fastest RibRide, Velocity, which launched in May 2018 and is located at Menai Bridge and is an adrenaline fuelled and fast-moving ride for passengers.
As well as exciting and new incentive attractions within an easy reach from the UK and Ireland, North Wales also has a range of large venues including Venue Cymru, a purpose-built venue in the region with more than 20 conference spaces to small meeting rooms for less than 10 people as well as the new 1,550 sqm arena for up to 5,000 people. There is also the OpTIC Technium at Glyndwr University, a leading provider of innovative product development in engineering and technology consulting, which has a boardroom, a conference room for 120 and six smaller meeting rooms.
Château Rhianfa, a five-star unique Loire Valley-style chateau gazing across the Menai Strait to Snowdonia offers 22 elegant bedrooms, two self-catering cottages and an award-winning restaurant and can be hired for exclusive use. The Gladstone Library is the UK’s only residential library offering the chance to explore a collection of 150,000 printed items. The library has 26 bedrooms, a restaurant and five different meeting rooms, with the largest holding up to 40 – a unique space for business events.
As well as its stunning landscapes, North Wales also boasts a range of accommodation, from four to five-star luxury hotels, unusual and purpose-built events accommodation. St George Hotel, a four-star hotel combining Victorian elegance with luxurious comfort as well as seven function suites for up to 250 delegates. Or guests can choose to stay in the Llandudno Bay Hotel. Extensive renovation work has seen this beautiful Grade II listed building become a stylish 61-bedroom, boutique-style hotel with a function space for 150, a restaurant and a chic champagne bar and lounge.
With accommodation, venues and attractions all ticking the right boxes, North Wales’ advantageous geography of the region puts it at the forefront of renewable energy initiatives. With an estimated €100.4 million of EU structural funding prioritised for marine energy in Wales over the next five years and numerous projects already underway, Wales is well positioned to play a global leading role. As well as marine energy, universities in North Wales such as Bangor and Glyndwr are working on research projects for the region. Bangor is helping to build a world-leading capability in nuclear engineering which will be the hub for a global network, while Glyndwr works with Airbus in developing new wings.
With the area already offering so much, the North Wales Growth Deal is only going to help the region go from strength to strength. Heledd Williams, Head of Business Events in Wales commented: “North Wales has so much to offer event planners already and the investment of the Growth Deal will further support the region as an attractor of business events. The links between economic sectors and meetings, conferences and events is firmly established in Wales as it is in the rest of the country.
“As a relative newcomer to the market, in the next few years Wales is poised to exploit that link to its fullest extent by surprising meeting delegates and event planners with hidden gems and ‘off the beaten track’ venues.”
North Wales is easily accessible with routes from Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham airport. It is also home to the Port of Holyhead with transfers to Ireland and there is a daily flight from Cardiff Airport to Anglesey – a mere 40-minute flight.