Welcoming the World to the International Convention Centre Wales

Following several years of planning and two and a half years of construction, the International Convention Centre Wales opened its doors this Quarter to welcome the world to Wales. After an incredible team effort, the state-of-the-art £84 Million meet­ings and events venue at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, welcomed its first customer when the Association of Stoma Care Nurses checked in for their three-day annual conference, bringing in 750 delegates.

This was followed immediately by a gala dinner for 1,200 people there to enjoy An Experience With Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course every visitor left the venue with the same endorsement: “I’ll be back!”. And within a week of opening, the UK Space Conference — a three-day event with 2,000 delegates — became the first international convention to use facilities, many describing them as “out of this world”.

Space Conference attendees experienced the grand unveiling of the 1,500-seat ICCW auditorium, with speakers including four UK Government ministers and British astronaut Major Tim Peake addressing the delegates. Other facilities at the venue also got an inaugural run, including the 4,000 square meter, pillar-free main exhibition hall which can seat up to 3,500 people for dinner, 15 flexible meeting rooms and the double-height glass atrium. And we must also mention outside, perched proudly on a 2,500 square meter plaza overlooking the M4 motorway, the striking 50-foot-tall red steel dragon that welcomed all visitors to the new venue. This icon is quite an attention-getter!

Ian Edwards, Chief Executive of ICC Wales, commented: “We are all excited to have opened the doors to ICC Wales and to be giving a warm Welsh welcome to our first delegates. I am proud of the whole team who have worked tirelessly over the past two years to bring this incredible venue to fruition. After talking about it for some time, it is satisfying to see this world-class facility come to life with delegates filling the main hall, auditorium and other meeting spaces.”

ICC Wales is a joint venture between the Celtic Manor Resort and the Wales Government and will be a game-changing venue, bringing a projected £70M into the local economy annually and establishing the country on the global map as a destination for business events.

Welsh Government Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, said: “The International Convention Centre Wales is a major asset, enabling Wales to compete with any venue in the UK and beyond to host events that make a huge contribution to the economy. I’m delighted to see ICC Wales off to a great start. Business events bring wide-ranging benefits and the new centre is already showing how we can build on our reputation and host some of the biggest in the world.”

Kerrin MacPhie, Head of Business Events at VisitBritain added: “The ICC Wales is a truly world class venue and is an excellent addition to the extensive portfolio of business events product available in the UK. At VisitBritain we are passionate about celebrating our desti­nations and this outstanding new venue will help ensure that the UK remains a competi­tive destination in the global business events marketplace.” iccwales.com