International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) – the new £84 million venue in Newport, South Wales – has opened its doors to conferences, with more than 5,500 delegates experiencing the venue in a packed first week.
ICC Wales’ inaugural event was the Association of Stoma Care Nurses (ASCN) three-day UK Annual Conference 2019. Other events this week included an Experience with Arnold Schwarzenegger, a gala dinner for more than 1,200 people. ICC Wales is also set to host a BBC Wales Live Debate and will welcome members of government, industry and academia for the 2019 UK Space Conference.
Ian Edwards, chief executive, ICC Wales
, said: “We are all incredibly excited to be opening the ICC Wales doors this week and giving a warm Welsh welcome to our first ever delegates. I am hugely proud of the whole team who have worked tirelessly but always with a smile over the past two years to bring this incredible venue to fruition.
“We would also like to extend our thanks to Welsh Government and our partners across Wales, without whom this project would not have been possible. This, of course, is just the beginning, and we look forward to continuing to work together to welcome the meetings and events community to Wales and our fantastic new convention centre.”
Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, said: “The International Convention Centre Wales is a major asset for Wales, enabling us to compete with any venue in the UK and beyond to attract and host key events that will make a huge contribution to our economy – and I’m delighted that ICC Wales has had such a great start after opening its doors for the first time.
“Business events bring wide ranging benefits and the new centre is already showing how we can build on our international reputation as hosts of some of the world’s biggest events.”
Heather Lishman, association director of ABPCO, added: “I’m absolutely thrilled that ICC Wales
has now opened and that it was a UK association that was first through the doors. In the build up to this moment, we have worked closely with the team on everything from the ‘Food for Thought’ report to our Chairmen’s Lunch and Excellence Awards
which I’m delighted to say will be held at ICC Wales in December. Congratulations to everyone involved and I can’t wait to see the benefits not just for Wales but for the whole of the country.”
Michael Hirst, chair of the Events Industry Board
and Business Visits and Events Partnership, said: “The opening of ICC Wales is a significant moment for the business events industry in the UK. With global competition for business on the increase, Britain needs first class, modern convention centres if we are to compete on the world stage.
“I’m particularly excited that Wales is getting an international convention centre that is worthy of the wonderful landscapes, people and industries that make it such a fantastic country in which to hold an event. Congratulations and I look forward to celebrating even more events coming to Wales in the very near future.”
Kerrin MacPhie, head of business events at VisitBritain, said: “The ICC Wales is a truly world class venue and is an excellent addition to the extensive portfolio of business events product available in the UK. At VisitBritain we are passionate about celebrating our destinations and this outstanding new venue will help to ensure that the UK remains a competitive destination in the global business events marketplace.”
Located within the grounds of the Celtic Manor Resort, two minutes from the M4 and under two hours from London Paddington by train, the 26,000 sqm ICC Wales can accommodate more than 5,000 delegates at a time and includes a 4,000 sqm pillar-free main hall, a 1,500 seated auditorium, 12 flexible meeting rooms, a double-height glass atrium and a 2,500 sqm outdoor plaza for outside events and team building.
AMI editor James
Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international
association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation
for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk,
read, listen to music, and drink beer.