A spotlight on the East Midlands

Nottingham is a thriving cosmopolitan city with a blend of modern conference facilities and historic architectural elegance, which provides the perfect setting for business events and meetings.    

As the capital of the East Midlands, it’s also widely accessible, attracting a wealth of business and leisure travellers across the length and breadth of the country and beyond. The excellent transport links by road, rail and air, plus a direct link to the Eurostar via the new terminal at St Pancras – which takes less than two hours – means getting here couldn’t be easier.   

Outside the boardroom, there’s plenty to see and do, so it’s little wonder that in 2008 Nottingham was voted as one of the top ten best city in the UK for meeting and events (source UKCMS).     

Visitors can explore the legend of Robin Hood; the recent film release of Ridley Scott’s adaptation has resulted in a huge increase in the number of enquiries for medieval banquet themed gala dinners, archery in Sherwood Forest and walking tours about the legend and his exploits.

Business is booming
With excellent cultural, sporting and adventure attractions including the Nottingham Contemporary, Trent Bridge Cricket Ground and the National Water Sports Centre it’s unsurprising therefore, that business and leisure tourism is thriving in the city and county of Nottinghamshire.   

With no shortage of unusual and inspiring venues including an arena, residential conference hotels, castles, mansions, country houses, tiered lecture theatres for up to 450, it’s little wonder that in 2009/10 alone, Nottinghamshire Convention Bureau secured conference business amounting to an economic benefit of £122m.   

The Convention Bureau is confident about its success in attracting prestigious and high profile conferences and events to the county each year. The Convention Bureau helped generate just under £250,000 worth of hotel room bookings as a result of the Samsung International Women’s Hockey Championships coming to Nottingham in 2010. And in 2011 to 2012 the Convention Bureau is helping the England Wheelchair Football Association with all accommodation requirements.         Plus, there’s a wealth of hotels and across the County ranging from budget to luxury options with a total of 13,000 bed spaces.


Nestling between the M1 and M6, at the crossroads of the major rail networks and within easy reach of Manchester, Birmingham and East Midlands Airports, Derbyshire is centrally located and couldn’t be more convenient – just two hours away from 80 per cent of the UK’s population.   

Derbyshire is home to many international organisations such as Bison, JCB and Toyota, as well as being a centre of manufacturing expertise, housing such businesses as Bombardier and Rolls-Royce.
Boasting one of the world’s most visited National Parks, the Peak District, as well as the dynamic city of Derby and several bustling market towns, the county is a much sought-after location to live, work and stay.


With Derby only 93 minutes from London by train, a host of new hotels have changed the landscape of the city. Among recent arrivals are the boutique-style Cathedral Quarter, Hallmark Derby, Ramada Encore and Jurys Inn, plus Hampton by Hilton and the Holiday Inn, both of which opened in 2010.     

The city is a very exciting and vibrant place to be, thanks to recent regeneration projects such as the Derby College Roundhouse and the prestigious Westfield shopping development.  Another exciting addition is the University of Derby Enterprise Centre, with state-of-the-art conference facilities and training suites.
More established venues include Derby Conference Centre, Pride Park Stadium and the Menzies Mickleover Court Hotel.   

Derbyshire’s towns combine character and convenience, with unique venues such as the Devonshire Dome, The Barceló Buxton Palace and the Old Hall in Buxton, home of the famous mineral water, with its direct rail link into Manchester Piccadilly.     

Chesterfield has a brand new four-star hotel, Casa, plus established venues such as Ringwood Hall Hotel and Brampton Manor Country Club, as well as a brand new stadium, b2net, for Chesterfield Football Club.


The jewel in Derbyshire’s crown is undoubtedly the Peak District, home to iconic venues such as Alton Towers Resort and Chatsworth, which has broadened its brief to accommodate corporate events.     

The area offers many hidden gems ideal for focusing on business amid relaxing surroundings. These include the award-winning East Lodge Country House Hotel and the Peacock, both at Rowsley, and spectacular Thornbridge Hall at Ashford in the Water. The area is also host to the oldest Marriott in the world, Breadsall Priory, near Derby, which also boasts two 18-hole golf courses.   

For people with a sense of adventure, Peak Pursuits has a base at Tittesworth Reservoir, where it specialises in water-based activities, but can also offer everything from abseiling to rock scrambling – plus team-building days.         

Leicester and Leicestershire
Leicester and Leicestershire is home to some of the most inspirational conferencing and event venues in the country – from state-of-the-art and purpose built conference centres, through to traditional conference venues, converted art-deco cinemas and stately homes combining yesterday’s architecture with today’s hi-tech facilities.    

Just a few minutes away from the city lies a very different world. Beautiful rolling countryside, winding waterways, ancient woodland, historic market towns and picturesque villages provide the ultimate rural retreat. Leicestershire’s landscape makes for stunning conference venue locations.
Take your conference back to nature and bring the event outside. From the National Forest to ancient castles, these all make for ideal settings to hold your conference, event and team building activities.

Venue feature

At the heart of this cosmopolitan city is Leicester City Conference Hub that offers delegates a truly unique experience. Three exceptional and contrasting venues within the cultural quarter, Curve, Athena and Phoenix Square, are combined to offer a large conference venue with capacity for up to 1,000 delegates.   

Designed by award winning architect Rafael Vinoly, Curve is a magnificent venue that provides a wealth of meeting space supported by state-of-the-art technology.  Curve is Leicester’s newest theatre, and has two auditoriums available for private hire. Curve has been designed for maximum flexibility and the meeting space can be constructed and used in a variety of ways.     

Athena was originally designed in 1936 by Robert Arthur Bullivant as an Odeon Cinema. The venue represented one of the largest, most extravagant buildings within the region comprising of simply one screen seating over 3,000 guests. It was then subdivided into four screens in the 60s and remained closed throughout much of the 90s.    

The building has now been restored to its former glory, and as Athena, retains its original art deco splendour. Situated directly adjacent to Curve, Athena combines original features such as its exceptional acoustic insulation with state-of-the-art technology, to provide an ideal venue for banquets, conferences and exhibitors.

Bidding Success
Leicester has emerged triumphant as the location for the national Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) annual conference in 2013. The regional FSB office approached Leicester Shire Promotions to bid for the event. The local bid team led by Leicester Shire Promotions and included partner organisations Athena, Curve and Ramada Jarvis Hotel, successfully pitched to host the three-day conference from 20-23 March 2013.    

This will be the first time that Leicester has hosted the prestigious annual conference in its 20 year history.


Whatever your event plans may be – a getaway to inspire the team or a conference to inform your customers – Lincolnshire has a venue to suit every occasion.    

Choose from country hotels like Forest Pines, historic buildings such as the magnificent Lincoln Castle to contemporary unique venues such as the Collection in Lincoln – a modern building in the heart of Lincoln’s cultural quarter. Or for a venue located on the Lincolnshire coast with the capacity to take large gatherings try Butlins in Skegness – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.   

The EPIC Centre, close to Lincoln City Centre offers impressive event facilities situated on the Lincolnshire Showground. This award winning eco-building gives visitors the opportunity to experience the best in corporate and social functions, against a backdrop of total environmental sensitivity. This is the UK’s first purpose built green conference centre – and recently voted the top eco building in the UK.  

Getting away from it all

Surrounded by secluded gardens and bordering open countryside, Hemswell Court provides a haven of peace away from the everyday pressures of work. Inside you will find a choice of spacious and luxuriously furnished function rooms, providing the ideal location for any business occasion. The versatile accommodation includes a number of formal meeting rooms, syndicate rooms and additional facilities, which can enable you to present to a larger audience.    

The Old Barn Hotel near Marston offers tranquility and state of the art equipment. This idyllic retreat set in beautiful countryside offers award winning conference facilities having won the National England Excellence award for five consecutive years. The superb location, just one mile off the A1, is perfect for business or exploring the natural beauty of South West Lincolnshire.    

To stimulate the mind and capture the imagination of delegates, in convivial surroundings, think De Vere Belton Woods. Whether it’s an intimate one-to-one meeting, a training course, conference, or a launch ceremony; they will create a conductive environment for thought in any of the unparalleled venues.    

Perfectly located in the centre of Lincolnshire the Petwood Hotel has an historic and interesting connection. During the Second World War the hotel was requisitioned by the RAF and in 1943 it became the officers’ mess for 617 Squadron – the famous ‘Dambusters’.    

Today the Squadron Bar is dedicated to this famous group of men. Only 18 miles from Lincoln with its impressive Cathedral, Petwood is central to most routes through the country. Business meetings, seminars and conferences are a house speciality. A complete and flexible service is provided for business clients, this includes full conference facilities and syndicate rooms.


With three of the country’s most famous racing circuits, Northamptonshire can help you deliver an exciting high-octane event. Or why not allow your delegates to experience the area’s fascinating history, heritage and
beauty of the countryside in one of the many historic country house – including a castle built on the instruction of William the Conqueror.   

What better combination could you find than the thrill of a world class racing circuit and a fabulous 4-star conference hotel with leisure facilities? Silverstone Racing Circuit, with its action packed race calendar, sits right next door to Whittlebury Hall, which offers a purpose-built, professional learning environment, a personalised and flexible service and the widest range of business and leisure facilities – all centrally located in the heart of the country within minutes of the M1 and M40.

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