The increasing importance of Manchester City Centre as the second largest financial district outside of London, the relocation of the BBC and the government regeneration investment, means that the spotlight has been placed firmly on conference venues in Manchester City Centre. With the talented minds of the UK flocking to Manchester to carry out their business, it is important to look at the top 5 venues in the city centre that are able to facilitate this.
The first thing to look at is what qualifies a venue to be rated in the ‘top 5′? There are three factors which venue hunters will look for, venue capacity, number of meeting rooms and if there is accommodation provided. Therefore the top 5 conference centres in order of capacity and which we will look at in more detail are the Manchester Central Convention Complex, The Lowry Centre, The Palace Hotel, The Midland Hotel and The Hilton Manchester Deansgate Hotel.
Manchester Central Convention Complex
The Manchester Central Convention Complex far exceeds the other venues in terms of capacity as it is a flexible space which can be manipulated to meet many different requirements. It can accommodate 9000 delegates, as well as meeting facilities for anywhere between 40 and 4000. The versatility of this venue means that it can host a number of different events from large international conferences to concerts. Indeed it is home to the annual Labour Party Conference. Due to the size of the venue, accommodation would be impossible however its city centre location means that there are plenty of hotels and apartments available within walking distance.
The Lowry Centre
The Lowry Centre is an arts and conference centre located on Pier 8 in Salford Quays which is approximately two miles out of the city centre beside the River Irwell. It is next to MediaCityUK, home of the re-located BBC.
The Palace Hotel is a Grade two listed building and is located in the heart of Manchester on Oxford Road. It can accommodate up to 1000 delegates in one room, or across 12 meeting rooms. Its hotel is rated as four star and has 275 bedroom suits. This venue lends itself to conferences, training and even weddings.
The Midland Hotel is another city centre venue with a Grade two listed building. It can accommodate 700 delegates in up to 14 meeting rooms. It is a four star venue and the number of bedroom suites is 312. Due to its 100 year history, this venue has accommodated royalty as well as rock stars in the past.
Hilton Manchester Deansgate Hotel
Finally, the Hilton Manchester Deansgate Hotel is the most recently developed conference venue in Manchester City Centre on this list. It is located on Deansgate and can accommodate 600 delegates in up to 11 meeting rooms. This hotel is rated as four star and offers 279 bedroom suites. The venue itself is very dramatic set at 23 stories high (the top floors are occupied by residents) and can be seen across most of the city.
Therefore if you are looking for conference venues in Manchester City Centre, there really are a number of extremely varied, good quality venues to choose from, however these 5 venues are the top five based on capacity and flexibility of meeting rooms and accommodation. Their diversity means that no matter what your personal tastes are, be it contemporary or characterful, these five choices do offer the complete spectrum.
Christian Hill is Director of Venue Hunter.