Beleaguered ICC Wales secures seven-figure support package

A newly built convention centre whose event schedule was brought to a sudden halt by the coronavirus pandemic has been thrown a lifeline after securing a multi-million pound investment package.

The International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) opened in Autumn 2019 but within months had to close it doors to comply with governments rules aimed at containing the disease.

The venue has now received a seven-figure bailout provided by NatWest and  joint shareholders Celtic Manor and the Welsh Government to put it in a ‘stronger position’ when business resumes.

The Newport-based convention centre, which includes 15 meeting rooms, a 4,000 sqm hall and 700 car parking spaces, closed its doors in March and has not opened since.

Mark Colcomb, VP, Finance and Support at ICC Wales, said: “This has been a devastating time for the entire meetings industry. Having opened with a number of very successful events in autumn 2019, ICC Wales has now been closed longer than it was open. Although a return to business is still not yet on the horizon, we are delighted to have this financial support that puts us in a stronger position to reopen when the time comes.

“We have been busy working with Welsh Government and industry bodies to set the standards for reopening in the safest way possible, and we have also been working constantly with our clients to reschedule events for future dates. We look forward to once again being able to deliver world-class events and exhibitions in safety.”

Stuart Allison, Nicky Hakim and Chris James at NatWest and Lombard Asset Finance supported by Omar Al-Nuaimi and Joe Roberts at Osborne Clarke have worked with Mark and the team at ICC Wales since the very start of the construction project in 2017.

Stuart Allison, NatWest Relationship Director, said: “Covid has created unprecedented economic challenges to many businesses, none more so than those in the hospitality and events sectors. ICC Wales’ brief yet successful opening ahead of lockdown proved what an exceptional, world-class facility we have here in South Wales.

“Having funded the initial development, we have crafted a package designed to support the business through this unprecedented period. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we cannot wait for some sort of normality to return and ICC Wales to be allowed to reopen its doors.”

In July last year Celtic Manor, one of the UK’s best-known hotel and golf courses, was forced to make 450 redundancies as a direct consequence of the pandemic.

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