From vast lecture theatres to historic banqueting halls, universities and academic institutions have plenty of options on campus for event bookers

Christmas at University of Manchester venue hire

Capacity 1,000

At the centre of the University of Manchester campus is neo-gothic Whitworth Hall. It’s a popular filming location with star quality as a backdrop to banquets and dinner dances. The functional Manchester Meeting Place, on the other hand, is a good spot for daytime business events. For large conferences, University Place and the Renold Building are available for bookings during university holidays.

2. King’s Venues – Bush House

Kings Venues Bush House academic venues

Capacity 400

Former HQ of the BBC World Service, Bush House is one of four buildings in the Aldwych Quarter recently acquired by King’s College London. Opened this September, the venue offers a variety of meeting and event spaces, including a large lecture theatre with retractable seating. A rooftop terrace and private hospitality suite on the eighth floor of the main building is well suited to VIP dinners.

3. Imperial Venues

Imperial Venues academic venues

Capacity 740

With its portfolio of more than 200 meeting and seminar rooms, Imperial is one of London’s largest academic venues, offering a vast choice of conference, training, banqueting and exhibition spaces. Rooms are varied, from the Victorian grandeur of 170 Queen’s Gate to the hi-tech lecture theatres of the Sir Alexander Fleming Building. Accommodation can also be provided.

Queen Mary University of London academic venues

Capacity 770

This east London university offers a portfolio of event spaces across four London properties. At Mile End, in the attractive Queens’ Building, you’ll find The Octagon. Once the college library, the Grade II-listed event space adds Victorian character to gala dinners and high-profile conferences. In the summer (mid-June to mid-September) all-inclusive conferencing is made possible thanks to on-campus bedrooms. 

Stowe House venue hire

Capacity 1,000

Visitors have been drawn to this great estate – one of Europe’s finest and most imitated – since the 1700s. Set in 880 acres of landscaped gardens, its centrepiece is an imposing 18th-century mansion whose interiors have been restored in a comprehensive development programme. The Marble Hall, inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, makes a knockout backdrop for champagne receptions.

Warwick Conferences - academic venues

Capacity 1,200

The University of Warwick’s spacious campus is located in Coventry. The site offers residential training and meeting venues year round, and recently opened the lakeside Slate conference centre. The main Conference Park campus can be hired for overnighters in student holidays, offering a focused, hi-tech environment for two up to 1,200 delegates. 

Imago Venues venue hire

Capacity 2,500

Highly regarded for its world-class sports facilities, Loughborough University also has 180 function spaces, making it a one-stop destination for anything from board meetings to residential conferences. It forms part of the Imago portfolio, which also includes nearby Holywell Park and Burleigh Court Hotel.

To see the full list of academic venues, head this way.

This article was first published in SquareMeal Beyond 2017