ICC Wales hosted a group of UK association conference managers on the first ever official fam trip to the venue, due to open in 2019.
Billed as “24 fabulous hours of building brilliance”, the itinerary included an evening dinner, the chance to make traditional Welsh cakes with the catering team and a masterclass in singing inspired by Wales’s worldwide reputation as the land of song.
Ian Edwards, CEO of ICC Wales and the Celtic Manor Resort, said: “It was wonderful to be able to share our plans for ICC Wales with some of the UK’s key associations. We were keen for them to see the site, how far we’ve come already and to showcase our vision for an amazing future. Demonstrating the friendliness and impact of a warm Welsh welcome was also important to us.”
Delegates were taken through the detailed plans for ICC Wales at the newly opened marketing suite for the venue, which also offers a bird’s eye view of the construction site as the new building begins to emerge. ICC Wales will provide total floor space for meetings, conferences, exhibitions and events of 26,000 sqm – the equivalent size to nearly four international rugby pitches.
Jane Elsom, research project manager for Alzheimers Research UK, said: “It was fascinating to see the site and the vision for what will no doubt be a major new addition to the UK conference and events scene. Wales is long overdue a purpose-built conference centre of this size and scale. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing the plans come to fruition and excited for Wales more widely – ICC Wales will be a tremendous boost to bringing even more business events to the country.”
An £83.7m joint venture between Celtic Manor and Welsh Government, ICC Wales is now established as a separate company. It will accommodate 5,000 delegates 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.