More than £6 million is being invested into a Birmingham conference venue as it seeks to benefit from a HS2-inspired boost.
Work taking place at Conference Aston, Birmingham’s biggest residential conference venue, is part of plans to take a bigger share of a growing market in the city.
The first phase – costing £2.4 million and due for completion by February 2014 – includes new conference spaces with increased capacity, expanding its private dining restaurant to cater for up to 200 guests, a refurbished bar area with a new coffee lounge and upgrading 50 bedrooms.
The venue, located on the campus of Aston University, has appointed Lucy Talbot to oversee the expansion and refurbishment over the next three years.
Ms Talbot has worked in the conference and hospitality industry for over 20 years and was previously an AA hotel and restaurant inspector.
She believes now is the perfect time for Conference Aston to be investing as Birmingham prepares to enter a pivotal time for attracting new conference and event business on the back of high speed rail investment.
She said: “Birmingham has a rich history of attracting major conferences and with the preparation for HS2 under way, it is fundamental that the region re-cements its reputation as the natural choice for hosting events.
“This is our chance to fight back against other big cities, which will aggressively pursue conference business to try and steal trade away from other places, as the wider economy and business spend recovers.”