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Brighton and Eastbourne venues battle for conference cash
Conference experts are battling it out to bring in the most money from meetings.
According to the conference team at Visit Brighton, big events will pump up to £58 million into the city’s economy over the next four years.
The city has snared two high-profile events. A conference on key reforms to the European Court of Human Rights will take place at the Brighton Centre in April. The Labour Party conference will return to the city in September 2013 bringing a £20 million boost to the city’s coffers.
Other money-spinners include the Liberal Democrats annual conference in September at the Brighton Centre, worth £15,000,000 and the TUC annual congress worth £5,000,000. Cabinet councillor in charge of tourism Geoffrey Bowden said: “These figures are a tribute to the proactive approach taken by the VisitBrighton team in marketing our city and emphasises the importance of the conference business for the local economy.”
Bosses at Eastbourne conference bureau say that 2012 is best ever year for conferences in the town. More than 15 conferences will take place at the main conference venue Devonshire Park Centre bagging business worth £7.5 million. Conferences and meetings are estimated to bring £40 million to the town by 2016. Eastbourne Borough Council cabinet member for tourism and leisure councillor Neil Stanley said Eastbourne Conference Bureau is attracting new conferences, including some that traditionally go to London such as the National Teaching and Advisory Service, with over 1000 delegates attending for a week in October.
New events coming up at Devonshire Park Centre during 2012 include the IDF World Dance Championships in May.
He said: “We are really excited for a fantastic year of conferences in Eastbourne with nearly 15,000 delegates coming into the town during 2012.
“Conferencing is a huge part of our visitor offer here in Eastbourne with business tourism particularly important during the shoulder months, filling local hotels and guesthouses and using our theatres between shows. With the next stages of the Devonshire Park Review progressing, which include a commitment to invest further in Eastbourne’s conference facilities, 2012 looks to be a great year for Eastbourne.”