Light, bright & modern venues in the UK

The best light, bright & modern venues from around the UK

Updated on 21 March 2018

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The Merchant Hotel

The Merchant Hotel

16 Skipper Street , Belfast, Co Down, BT1 2DZ

Located in the Cathedral Quarter, the luxurious Merchant Hotel offers five-star event facilities in a Grade A-listed building that was once a bank. Business events are high on the list of priorities in its elegant art deco wing, which offers two inventive ways of enhancing delegates’ concentration levels. There’s an ‘intelligent air purification system’, offering a 30% increase in oxygen, and a ‘colour psychology lighting system’, which creates colour moods to maximise performance. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and air-con are available throughout the hotel’s six meeting rooms and event suite. A landscaped roof garden can be hired exclusively and has a private bar that can serve drinks and canapés for up to 60 guests. For something more formal, there’s a private dining room for 18 in the stunning Great Room restaurant. Ollie’s Nightclub (available to hire Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday) offers slick party space for 600 guests

 

Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 600
Max Banquet 150
The Lowry

The Lowry

Pier 8, Salford Quays , Salford, Greater Manchester, M50 3AZ

Opposite the MediaCityUK complex in Salford Quays, this arts and entertainment hub houses three adaptable theatres, a range of event spaces, a bar and restaurant. The landmark building also has space for the world’s largest collection of LS Lowry paintings. On its fourth floor, the glass-walled Compass Room has its own balcony, while Pier Eight is a flexibile choice for functions. Head to the North and South Rooms if yours is a smaller meeting.

Max Meeting 1730
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 280
Mercedes-Benz World

Mercedes-Benz World

Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0SL

Mercedes-Benz World is a state-of-the-art complex in the grounds of the iconic Brooklands racing circuit. Options for events range from small dinners in the Gullwing Bistro to large receptions and banquets in the exhibition space. Other options include an 88-seat luxury cinema for video presentations. In summer, the venue can handle big events such as concerts for thousands of people. Driving experiences are a popular way to end a day of meetings.

Information on Teambuilding at Mercedes Benz World

Venue focus: Mercedes-Benz World

Max Meeting 350
Max Standing 750
Max Banquet 450
The Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin

The Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin

St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland,

A chic five-star hotel, The Fitzwilliam Hotel overlooks St Stephen’s Green in the centre of Dublin. Created by Sir Terence Conran in 1998, it was one of the first boutique hotels in the city, featuring 138 contemporary bedrooms and a stunning 1,800sq ft penthouse. Three smart meeting suites can accommodate any number of events for 16 to 100 people. Largest is the Fitzwilliam Room, with a capacity of 100 for cocktails and state-of-the-art technology for meetings, while the Pembroke Room (with a 50” plasma screen) can double up as training room or private dining room. Finally, the bright and airy Emmet Room, seating 16, is ideal for boardroom powwows. Free Wi-Fi runs throughout. The hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant Thorntons, considered to be one of Dublin’s finest eateries, also serves lighter bites in the Thorntons Canapé Bar. Plenty of on-site parking is another plus.

 

‘Destination Focus - Ireland' Regional Focus feature on Irish venues

Max Meeting 80
Max Standing 100
Max Banquet 60
The Gallivant

The Gallivant

New Lydd Road, Camber, East Sussex, TN31 7RB

Following a recent multi-million pound renovation, the Gallivant has over doubled in size, adding a private dining room, sitting room, library/snug, summer house dining room and terraces. Beyond that, there are two main reasons to visit: the first is food, which comes from an award-winning kitchen that focuses on sustainable cooking. The second is its location, which is over the road from the dunes that lead to Camber Sands. Its elegant beach-hut-style marquee is suitable for conferences, dinners or as a base for a day’s teambuilding.

 

Max Meeting 144
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 100
National Museums Northern Ireland

National Museums Northern Ireland

Cultra, Holywood, Northern Ireland , Belfast, Co Down, BT18 0EU

Attracting a handsome one million visitors a year, this group’s four museums are packed with modern art, artefacts from Northern Ireland’s rich past and the odd Egyptian mummy. The result is an impressive list of spaces suitable for conferences and networking events through to corporate fun days and teambuilding. For the former, we particularly like the Ulster Folk and Transport museum: seat up to 500 delegates among the vast selection of Irish railway artefacts. For receptions you can fit a hundred or so more and there’s plenty to keep guests talking. You’ll need something to break up all those business meetings, so take a look at the teambuilding activities at the Ulster American Folk Park. We particularly like the sound of Irish whiskey and Guinness tastings. With all four destinations being in, or close to, Belfast, connections are a doddle, for those coming from abroad.

 

Max Meeting 0
Max Standing 0
Max Banquet 0
Imago Venues

Imago Venues

Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3GR

Loughborough University’s events facilities are unified as Imago Venues. Burleigh Court is a four-star hotel with a spa and 26 function rooms. A short walk away and available exclusively, Holywell Park has two big exhibition spaces, lecture theatre and many smaller meeting options. Nearby Link Hotel offers six more rooms. During Easter and summer breaks, 180 further spaces and the world-class sports facilities of Loughborough Campus become available.

 

Max Meeting 2000
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 200
Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel

Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel

Spine Road East South Cerney , Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 5TL

This member of the Four Pillars group enjoys a stunning lakeside location within the Cotswold Water Park, an outstanding landscape of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands with superb sports facilities. The carefully designed meeting rooms, in keeping with the rest of its Scandinavian-style interiors, are able to host groups of up to 800 delegates when used together, while the largest space has serene views over the lake and woodland. A health club, complete with gym, spa and indoor swimming pool, occupies delegates during leisure time, when guests can also enjoy a wide choice of eating and drinking options, including the Sky Sports lounge.

 

'Hotel Group Profile' on Four Pillars Hotels

Max Meeting 370
Max Standing 360
Max Banquet 300
The Gibson Hotel

The Gibson Hotel

The Point Village, Dublin 1, Ireland,

At The Gibson, a shiny high-rise hotel in Dublin’s Docklands, almost every room has a city view. Its dedicated Conference Area spreads across two floors, where the flagship Stratocaster Suite serves up a 180-degree panoramic cityscape through soaring floor-to-ceiling windows. With a capacity of 300, this is the largest of five main function rooms (three of which divide to bring the total to nine) all set around a courtyard garden with alfresco event space on a heated terrace. Natural daylight, free Wi-Fi (with 100MB broadband) and up-to-date AV kit come as standard and there are several hundred parking spaces in the underground car park beneath the hotel. When big names play The O2 just opposite – as, of course, they do regularly – this is unsurprisingly a popular spot for pre- or post-show hospitality and there are special overnight rates reserved for ticketholders.

 

Max Meeting 300
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 300
Pavilion at Ascot Racecourse

Pavilion at Ascot Racecourse

Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7JX

Views over the Plaza Lawns towards the Parade Ring and south side of the Grandstand make the Ascot Pavilion a grand setting for events. As the largest of the famous racecourse’s standalone function spaces (smaller only than the main grandstand’s 3,000-capacity Galleria) it can seat around 1,000 diners or host receptions for anything up to 1,550 standing guests. With its own entrance, Wi-Fi and air conditioning throughout, it is a versatile space that can adapt just as readily to a largescale conference as a dinner dance, awards ceremony or drinks reception. Day delegate packages include room hire, refreshments, a buffet lunch and on-site parking.

Venue review of Ascot Racecourse

Venue review of On 5

Information on Hospitality at On 5

Information on Royal Ascot hospitality

Information on Racing at Ascot

Information on Hospitality at Panoramic Restaurant

Information on Hospitality at Parade Ring Restaurant

Max Meeting 1400
Max Standing 1000
Max Banquet 1000
York Conferences

York Conferences

Grimston House, University of York, Heslington, Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, YO10 5DD

With a portfolio of 200 event spaces, ranging from exhibition halls and lecture theatres to the 1,190-capacity Central Hall, York Conferences has plenty to offer would-be bookers. However, it’s not just venues that it specialises in. The friendly in-house events team can also arrange competitively priced accommodation – anything from single en-suite rooms to houses for between six and 12 guests – and organise sporting tournaments for teambuilding days, as well as offering general advice and contacts for bookers. Catering might be simple tea and refreshments for morning meetings or fine-dining menus for large-scale banqueting. The range of venues on offer includes several buildings of interest, including the atmospheric King’s Manor, which dates back to the 16th century, and the newly built Ron Cooke Hub with its striking contemporary architecture and meeting space for up to 225 delegates.

Max Meeting 1190
Max Standing 1500
Max Banquet 450
The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast

The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast

Great Victoria Street, Belfast, Co Down,

After its success in Dublin, the luxury design-led hotel brand launched The Fitzwilliam Belfast in 2009. Decorated in the ‘contemporary manor-house’ style that has become their signature, the 130 bedrooms combine comfort – king-size beds with Egyptian linen and duck-down duvets – with mod-cons such as flatscreen TVs, free Wi-Fi and ergonomic work stations. For private functions, a handful of meeting rooms can hold up to 55 people and most have views of the city. Eating and drinking options include a Manhattan-inspired cocktail bar – available for mixology masterclasses – as well as the main restaurant, which serves well-executed modern European classics with prime Irish ingredients. Private dining can be arranged in a 20-capacity glass-walled boardroom overlooking the lobby, or in one of the city-view spaces. For activities and sightseeing, the concierge team is happy to make suggestions and reservations.

 

Max Meeting 55
Max Standing 75
Max Banquet 40
the g hotel

the g hotel

Wellpark, Galway, Co Galway, Eire West, Ireland,

Set in a heavenly position overlooking Lough Atalia and Galway Bay, the five-star g hotel is the creation of world-famous milliner Philip Treacy in his native Galway. The whole building is certainly a statement, with the designer’s flamboyant touches evident throughout. The 101 bedrooms range from serene to spectacular (particularly the Linda Evangelista suite, which can accommodate six for private dining), and all are equipped with top-end technology and crisp Treacy linens. Meeting rooms – to include a new 250-capacity suite from February 2013 – have a slick look that contrasts with dazzlingly colourful public spaces like the restaurant, which serves up contemporary Irish cooking. ESPA at the g, set in a zen garden, is another highlight, featuring a clutch of atmospheric treatment rooms, as well as a vitality pool. Rates are surprisingly attractive for a hotel of this standard too.

 

Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 80
Manchester Central

Manchester Central

Windmill Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 3GX

In a Grade II*-listed former Victorian railway station, Manchester Central’s column-free Central Hall brings rare height and a special atmosphere to exhibitions or installations. For smaller events, it divides into two. Exchange Hall is the city’s biggest purpose-built banqueting space, while Exchange Auditorium offers state-of-the-art AV. A plethora of breakout spaces and meeting rooms maintain the high standards, and the city itself is close at hand.

 

Max Meeting 10900
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 3600
Bicester Village

Bicester Village

50 Pingle Drive, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX26 6WD

New review coming soon.

Max Meeting 25
Max Standing 800
Max Banquet 300
Meet in Galway

Meet in Galway

Furbo Galway, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh,

Under the auspices of Meet in Galway, local venues, hotels and conference organisers have come together to promote this ancient and beautiful city on the west coast of Ireland – just two hours from Dublin by road – as a destination for international meetings and events. The organisation will give you access to industry contacts, find you the right venue, create an incentive programme, host a familiarisation and site-inspection trip, and advise on local and regional products and services. Whether it’s a question about the 1,100-seater venue in the National University of Ireland Galway or the 170-capacity space in Claregalway Castle, tours to the Cliffs of Moher or a boat trip down the river Corrib, Meet In Galway is likely to have the answer. With more than 3,400 bedrooms across its associated venues, it will certainly have somewhere for you and all of your delegates to stay.

 

Max Meeting 0
Max Standing 0
Max Banquet 500
FIVE

FIVE

Showcentre ETPS Road Farnborough , Aldershot, Hampshire, GU14 6FD

Home of the famous international airshow, FIVE (Farnborough International Venue & Events) is an impressive blank-canvas venue, specialising in large-scale events. It provides 3,150sq m of clear-span space for exhibitions, and is a great option for conferences of between 150 and 3,000 delegates. For dinner, the venue can hold between 90 and 2,000 seated guests, and its Main Hall can be split into two areas to accommodate smaller groups. FIVE also has a foyer at each end of the building, allowing for separate registration and cloakroom spaces. Easily accessible by road, rail and (naturally) air, the venue is five minutes’ drive from the M3 and provides ample free parking on site.

Information on Christmas at Farnborough FIVE

Max Meeting 2500
Max Standing 3000
Max Banquet 2000
MTC Events

MTC Events

Airfield Drive, Ansty Business Park, Coventry, West Midlands, CV7 9JU

Paving the way for technological advances in UK manufacturing, this cutting-edge Coventry venue lends real cachet to events. Its state-of-the-art spaces are versatile enough to cover the spectrum of corporate functions. A tiered theatre is the spot for product launches or presentations, while the sizeable exhibition space’s floor-to-ceiling windows make for a bright and airy atmosphere. Upstairs, a string of meeting rooms are popular for breakout sessions.

 

Max Meeting 252
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 250
Sax Chicago

Sax Chicago

00 312 245 0333, 00 312.923.2444, Chicago, International IL 60654, Isle Of North Uist, Malta,

The Windy City is currently a hot destination, and hotels like the Sax go a long way to explaining why. A member of the ultra-cool Thompson Hotels group, the 353-room Sax has 14,000sq ft of event space, ranging from the London Room, seating up to 10 in a living room environment, through to the Americas Ballroom, which can accommodate 180 for a sit-down dinner or 350 for cocktail receptions. Its clever design and computer-controlled lighting means it can transform from a boardroom set-up to a party space in a matter of minutes, enabling the room to be customised to fit a planned theme. There’s also Sax’s nightclub, the Crimson Lounge (voted one of the hottest clubs in the city), with eight different spaces to accommodate groups from six to 250. VIP C in Crimson Lounge is the largest VIP area, with capacity for up to 70 people and possibility to set up a bar and buffet in the room.

 

Max Meeting 800
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 300
Twickenham Stadium

Twickenham Stadium

Rugby House, 200 Whitton Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW2 7BA

When it’s not flooded with rugby fans, the England national stadium operates as a venue for corporate and private events. Spaces include the 1,200-capacity Rose Suite and the Live Room auditorium that has retractable tiered seating operated at the touch of a button. The South Stand conference centre got a £300k AV upgrade in 2016, and more recently had a refurbishment of its carpets and a reduction of its pillar sizes. The most unusual space for a sporting venue is the Twickenham Cellar, where 14 guests can feast on seven courses and fine wines. Three VIP areas have floor-to-ceiling windows that maximise views of the pitch, while the England Changing Rooms have been completely modernised. Group tours and guest speakers can also be arranged.

Venue review of Marriott Hotel Twickenham

Venue review of Twickenham Cellar

Venue review of The Live Room at Twickenham Stadium

Max Meeting 1200
Max Standing 1200
Max Banquet 900
The Bridgewater Hall

The Bridgewater Hall

Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 3WS

Best known as a world-class concert hall, the glass-walled Bridgewater Hall is also one of Manchester’s most popular conference venues. While its smallest rooms have the right feel for high-level meetings, its 1,800-seater Auditorium is the place for statement events – and is justly famed for its acoustics. Elsewhere, the Barbirolli Room is a high-ceilinged space overlooking the Bridgewater canal. Private events revenue helps fund a variety of projects at the venue.

Max Meeting 1800
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 240
Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse

Prestbury Park Cheltenham , Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 4SH

Set in the rolling Cotswolds countryside, Cheltenham Racecourse is not only an internationally acclaimed sports venue but also a striking setting for events. Every March, it plays host to the Gold Cup – arguably the biggest jumps race in the world – but on non-race days, large-scale conferences and exhibitions are its mainstay. The Centaur, a vast purpose-built auditorium, holds 2,250 guests theatre style (or 2,800 standing), making it one of the largest venues in the south west. A series of smaller spaces is also available, suited to banqueting, product launches and weddings. Both the Panoramic Room – with its vistas across the course – and the Hall of Fame work well for receptions, giving guests the opportunity to mingle among the faces of jumping history before moving on to dinner in the Festival or Gold Cup rooms, which both have private bars. Free car parking for up to 10,000 cars is another draw.

 

Latest news

The Gloucestershire racing venue is set to launch The Princess Royal Stand this year. Alongside the opening of the state-of-the-art client entertainment area, new hospitality boxes for business clients are also on the cards.

 

Max Meeting 2250
Max Standing 2800
Max Banquet 880
Sixways Stadium

Sixways Stadium

Warriors Way, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR3 8ZE

Worcester’s Sixways Stadium – home to the Worcester Warriors rugby team – offers a flexible range of event suites, exhibition space and teambuilding facilities. For banquets and conferencing, check out the Ricoh Lounge and Duckworth Suite. Breakfast meetings are a popular choice here, catered for by a number of more intimate rooms with full AV capabilities. Once business is done, guests can spill out onto the turf for barbecues or teambuilding activities.

Max Meeting 650
Max Standing 850
Max Banquet 500
Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University

Cavendish Building, Cavendish Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6BG

Event possibilities here comprise four distinct properties. Home to Manchester School of Art, the award-winning Benzie Building has a roof terrace with city views and room for networking and launches. The Brooks Building provides events space with on-site accommodation in summer, while the glass-wrapped Business School offers meeting rooms, lecture theatres and exhibition space. Lastly, the Geoffrey Manton Building’s atrium suits conferences and receptions.

 

Max Meeting 280
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 340
Cowley Manor

Cowley Manor

Cowley , Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 9NL

The traditional country house hotel goes all contemporary chic at 30-bedroom Cowley Manor, where a stately exterior belies the cool, modern design and relaxed vibe within. Set in 55 acres of glorious Cotswold parkland, the estate is dotted with meadows, woods and lakes. The 16-seater Private Dining Room and 50-capacity Garden Room both open out onto an expansive terrace, while the Private Sitting Room, with LCD screen, offers an informal breakout space for up to six delegates. To add to the laidback feel of the place, there is a crowd-pleasing all-day dining menu which focuses on seasonal, local produce. There is also a bar and billiards room, a high-end spa with a gym, four treatment rooms and gorgeous indoor and outdoor pools. The property is available for exclusive hire all year round, with discounted rates available in the winter (between October and March).

 

Max Meeting 18
Max Standing 80
Max Banquet 18
Williams Conference Centre

Williams Conference Centre

Grove, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 0DQ

Sir Frank Williams was the driving force behind one of Formula One’s most successful teams. Today, he lends his name to the Williams Conference Centre. At the F1 outfit’s Oxfordshire base, its modern event facilities are housed in the building that used to be the home of BMW’s Le Mans project. Once they are done meeting, training and networking, groups small and large can wander around Sir Frank’s private collection of more than 40 Grand Prix racing cars. Or they can get active, with guests going head to head on a giant Scalextric or taking on the Pit Stop Challenge together. However you want to structure your day, on-site event managers offer full planning support.

Max Meeting 300
Max Standing 350
Max Banquet 250
Heritage Motor Centre

Heritage Motor Centre

Banbury Road, Gaydon, Warwickshire, CV35 0BJ

Conveniently located just off J12 of the M40, the Heritage Motor Centre houses the world’s greatest collection of historic British vehicles and an array of 24 bright, modern rooms for conferences, exhibitions and entertaining. The largest is the self-contained Conference & Exhibition Suite, which can be divided into two rooms seating 250 delegates each. There are also a number of spaces catering for smaller events, each with vehicle access and rigging points. The highlight, however, is the rooftop Kestrel Suite, which has a roof terrace with sweeping panoramas over the surrounding Warwickshire countryside – a stunning spot for an evening banquet or awards ceremony. Set in 65 acres, the centre boasts 6,000sq m of external hard standing for marquees and outdoor events, plus space for teambuilding activities, including 4x4 driving with the Land Rover Experience.

 

Venue review of Christmas at Heritage Motor Centre

Event review - The Heritage Motor Centres 21st birthday

 

Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 1500
Max Banquet 208
The Porsche Experience Centre

The Porsche Experience Centre

The Porsche Experience Centre, Hangar Straight, Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire, NN12 8GR

The Porsche Experience Centre opened its doors at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in 2008. The circular building’s central space, The Porsche Atrium, creates an exciting area for a 200-guest drinks reception among the current range of Porsche models. On the same floor, there’s a variety of spaces for hire, including a 19-seat cinema. The largest on offer is the 917 Conference Room, which features space for up to 80 seated delegates. On the first floor, you’ll find the venue’s three smaller meeting rooms and the Boardroom, overlooking Silverstone’s circuit, which suits meetings for up to 15 delegates. There is also an 80-seat panoramic restaurant. The roof terrace offers an area for delegates to relax and view the action on the track. The entire venue can be hired exclusively, and individual programmes with the experts from Porsche Human Performance (also on site) can be combined with meetings.

Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 80