Venue openings to look out for in 2016 (part two)

Oddfellows On The Park in Great Manchester opens this summer
Oddfellows On The Park in Great Manchester opens this summer

In the second of our two-part series we take a look at some of the hottest new event spaces opening in 2016, from hotels to education and retail venues.

Oddfellows On The Park

Located within Bruntwood Park in Cheadle, Manchester, Oddfellows on the Park is a boutique hotel due to open this summer. Housed in a Victorian mansion, the hotel will feature a 'destination' restaurant, with double-aspect windows giving views across the park. There will also be a bar and flexible event space that will be able to cater for events of up to 120 people standing or 80 seated for dinner. Set to the side of the hotel, a separate building will house a 'salon de beaute' called Pigsty. The hotel itself features a grand, galleried staircase, stained-glass roof light and Jacobean-style ceilings.

Where: Bruntwood Park, Bruntwood Lane, Cheadle, Greater Manchester SK8 1HX

Contact: (01244) 345454

Opening: Summer 2016

Park Regis Birmingham

International hotel brand Park Regis opened its first European hotel in Birmingham earlier this week. It will offer an a la carte restaurant, all-glass Sake Bar and pan-Asian fusion restaurant on the 16th floor, as well as an executive level with conference and meeting spaces, a business lounge, spa and gym. Capacities for the meetings and event spaces vary from 30 to 180 people. Part of the StayWell hospitality group, the hotel is in the middle of Birmingham, near the Bull Ring Shopping Centre and the International Convention Centre, and has been developed in the former Auchinleck House building, with a £50m renovation.

Where: 158 Broad Street, Birmingham B15 1DLT

Contact: (01213) 695555

Opened: 29 March 2016

Boxpark Croydon

Following the success of Boxpark Shoreditch, Croydon is to see the pop-up mall concept come to the town this summer. Located in Ruskin Square, next to East Croydon station, the new Boxpark will be only the second to open in the UK and will comprise 80 units arranged in a covered courtyard that will be available for events all year round. The 1,850sqm event space will have a capacity of 2,000 people, with activities such as pop-up cinemas, mini music festivals, art installations and theatrical productions envisaged for the site, which will be equipped with giant LED screens.

The retail units will all be set aside for food and drink outlets, including international burger chain MeatLiquor.

Where: Ruskin Square, Dingwall Road, East Croydon CR0 2LX

Contact: (020) 7033 2899

Opening: Summer 2016

Queen Mary University of London

The university's new Graduate Centre will house a 200-seat, glass-sided lecture space, a dedicated foyer with a cafe and a range of seminar/breakout spaces. The building will also feature an open-plan reception space in a 'floating' glass box. A roof terrace with views across London will be available for drinks receptions and networking events of up to 100 guests. This investment adds to more than 100 event spaces at the Mile End campus, plus facilities in the City and Whitechapel.

Where: Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

Contact: (020) 7882 7313

Opening: late 2016

The Canvas

The Canvas near Coventry will be a contemporary, flexible event and exhibition space. It pitches itself as a unique venue that offers the freedom for organisers to build tailor-made experiences. It will have capacity for 350 guests within the 650sqm space, and is located on a lakefront setting. Guests at the venue will also have access to owner Warwick Conferences' 358 hotel-style bedrooms at its Scarman and Radcliffe venues, adjacent to The Canvas.

Where: University of Warwick, Scarman Road, Coventry CV4 7AL

Contact: (024) 7652 3222

Opening: Autumn 2016

Belfast Waterfront

Belfast Waterfront's state-of-the-art conference centre is due to open in May. A fully integrated 4,000sqm extension will transform the existing space, making it around 7,000sqm. The expanded site will offer two interconnecting multipurpose halls, which can be split into smaller areas depending on the event size. There will also be three large meeting rooms, able to hold up to 200 delegates, two exterior terraces with riverside views and a dedicated riverside entrance, leading to a 660sqm reception area. The venue is a five-minute drive from the airport or a two-minute walk from the city centre.

Where: 2 Lanyon Pl, Belfast BT1 3WH

Contact: (028) 9033 4400

Opening: Spring 2016

Yorkshire Event Centre

A new hall is set to open at Yorkshire Event Centre this summer on the same site as the current Hall 1. The venue is investing in the purpose-built space to provide a contemporary event location for exhibitions, corporate events, conferences, sporting events and concerts. The building will include a larger foyer area, cafe and seminar room. It will provide 4,320sqm of floor space, and measure 120 metres by 36 metres. Capacity-wise, when set up in a theatre style with a stage, the space will be able to hold 3,300 guests; banqueting-style capacity will be 3,000; and cabaret would be 2,220.

Where: Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG2 8NZ

Contact: (01423) 544544

Opening: Summer 2016


Crazy-golf venue Swingers is set to open beneath the Gherkin in April. The venue's official wine partner, Freixenet, will be running a street food bar and private dining room - The President's Committee Room - in association with the Institute of Competitive Socialising. The 1,500sqm, two-storey venue will house two nine-hole crazy-golf courses, three street food venues and four cocktail bars, including a mezzanine gin terrace. There will be a variety of spaces available for private, group and corporate events, with the whole venue able to be hired out for up to 500 people. For smaller groups wanting to book a private area, the Lower Clubhouse Bar holds up to 155 guests, the Upper Clubhouse Bar 60, the Gin Terrace 50 and the Private Dining room between 18 and 40, depending on the configuration.

Where: Brown's Buildings - between St Mary Axe and Bury Street, London EC3A 4AF


Opening: April 2016

British Airways i360

The i360 will treat visitors to views across Brighton & Hove, Sussex and the sea. The world's first vertical cable car will lift guests 450 feet into the air to enjoy 360-degree views of up to 26 miles. The attraction is keen to become a destination for events, conferences and parties. The base of the tower will feature rooms that can be booked, while total capacity for the entire building and pod is 1,000 guests. The meeting rooms can hold ten to 300 people, and all the hospitality rooms have sea views and a private beachside terrace. The glass viewing pod will also be available for private hire for receptions of up 200 people, or 192 if catering is served. It will feature a sky bar, sound system and video screens. A restored 1866 toll booth from the famous West Pier will be available to hire for private dining (up to 16 people) and receptions in the evening (up to 58), and has its own private terrace.

Where: Lower Kings Road, Brighton BN1 2LN

Contact: 0333 772 0360

Opening: Summer 2016

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