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The award-winning TV and film-maker Ken Loach delivered this year’s Longford Lecture at Church House, Westminster, on Thursday 29th November.

A capacity audience filled the Assembly Hall to hear the BAFTA-award winner talk about his lifelong concern about the plight of young homeless people, how too often they end up in contact with the criminal justice system and in prison.  His lecture marked the 50th anniversary of the founding, by Lord Longford, of New Horizon, London’s first drop-in centre for homeless youngsters, which continues to operate today.

Organised by The Longford Trust, the annual event aims to tackle questions of social and penal reform on the national stage and was once again chaired by renowned broadcaster Jon Snow. Each year the event attracts a number of high profile speakers and Church House Westminster has played venue host since its inception in 2002.

First class catering was provided during the evening by The Clink Charity, who aim to reduce reoffending rates of ex-offenders by training prisoners and placing graduates into employment in the hospitality industry. Prisoners helped to prepare canapes and wine under the supervision of the Westminster venue’s in-house caterers Ampersand.

“We have enjoyed a long and very happy partnership with Church House Westminster,” says Peter Stanford, director of the Longford Trust.  “In particular the excellent team there make everything so easy for us in staging our annual event.  Their attention to detail is extraordinary and no request is ever too much.  And the venue is unique, a perfect setting for a lecture that we want to make a contribution to the national debate”.

Robin Parker, General Manager of Church House Westminster, comments: “We are delighted that The Longford Trust remain one of our longest standing clients and yet again chose to hold their annual event with us for the 15th time. The lecture recognises qualities of humanity, courage, persistence and originality and we are proud to host such a motivational evening”.

Church House Westminster is one of London’s most versatile event venues. The AIM Gold accredited venue offers 19 flexible event spaces, which accommodate between 2 and 664 guests, and hosts a wide variety of events including meetings, conferences, awards ceremonies, gala dinners and receptions. For more information call 020 7390 1590 or visit

Solent Conference Centre was recently named ‘Best Conference Venue’ at the inaugural Academic Venue Awards, an event to celebrate leading event professionals across the UK.

The award ceremony held on Wednesday 22 November 2017 at Queen Mary’s University London, was the first of its kind bringing together the UK’s top academic venues to share their successes within the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) industry.

The team at Solent Conference Centre beat off stiff competition from 14 nominees and the award comes alongside a further nine award nominations already received by the Conference & Events team since the venue’s launch in June 2016.

The venue is part of a £34 million redevelopment programme by Southampton Solent University which feeds into the transformational masterplan for the city. The venue, located within the futuristic ‘Spark’ building, boasts a central atrium suitable for large events, exhibitions and performances as well as a further six flexible meeting rooms which transform into conferencing suites, two lecture theatres, a suspended meeting room named ‘The Pod’, a fine dining restaurant, a Starbucks, a convenience store and a delicatessen. The venue also boats a further 35 classrooms which act as break out rooms available outside of the teaching times at the University.

Amber Webster, Venue & Events Manager at Solent Conference Centre said of the award:
"We are delighted to have been recognised as a leader in conferencing among our industry peers. This award is a direct result of all the hard work undertaken by our team to make The Spark a leading conference centre in the UK with a focus on innovative event design, unique conferencing experiences and exceptional customer service.” 

For more information about the venue, please visit or contact the team on 02382015757,


UEFA and The Football Association have named the venues which will host the UEFA European Under-17 Championship final tournament in May next year, with Loughborough University one of six venues chosen.

Imago Venues, Loughborough University’s commercial venue provider, will facilitate and provide event management support throughout.

Alongside Burton Albion, Chesterfield, Rotherham United, St. George's Park and Walsall, Loughborough University has been selected to host the annual UEFA tournament, which sees Europe’s 16 elite nations go head to head.

Chesterfield will host the opening game and Rotherham United will stage the final, with fixtures taking place between 4-20 May. Tickets will go on sale in January with the final draw taking place at St. George’s Park in April. 

Wayne Rooney, Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba and Mario Götze are some of the famous names to have appeared at this level in the past with the competition acting as the perfect platform for young players to showcase their talents. England who won the European Under-17 title in 2010 and 2014, and also finished runners- up to Spain in 2017, qualified automatically for the tournament as hosts.

Loughborough University Executive Director of Sport John Steele commented:  “My colleagues and I are delighted that the 2018 UEFA European Under-17 Championships are coming to Loughborough University. Our purpose built football stadium will make a fantastic host venue alongside some of the larger football league grounds, and this event will add to the growing portfolio of national and international sporting events we are able to host on campus. A major developmental football tournament of this nature fits with our ethos here at Loughborough, and who knows how many stars of the future will be unearthed.”

Imago Venues, head of sales and marketing, Emma Boynton said: “Imago Venues are renowned for our links to major sporting events due to the professional facilities available across our portfolio.  As an award winning venue we have time and again delivered exceptional events to host of clients from all sectors.  The UEFA European Under-17 Championships will once again provide an opportunity for our customer service skills to shine and we look forward to welcoming players and supporters from around the world to what will be an exciting tournament.”

England U17s head coach Steve Cooper said: "We are very proud to be hosting the men’s European Under-17 finals next summer. St. George's Park will be at the heart of training and matches and all six venues will give the players an opportunity to perform at different stadiums.

"Rotherham and Walsall have hosted a number of England development and women's team fixtures in the past while Burton Albion and Chesterfield are fantastic venues. Loughborough University is a world-renowned sports and educational establishment.

“The tournament gives the towns and regions an opportunity to see the best young talent from across the continent and we are very much looking forward to the challenge.”

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin added: “The European Under-17 Championship gives football fans an early opportunity to watch talented young footballers as they start out on what they hope will be successful careers in the game. The competition also provides the youngsters with an ideal chance to perform on an international football stage.

“I am very happy that the finals are being staged in England. The Football Association are experienced hosts of major football events, and we are all looking forward to an exciting and entertaining tournament.”

Following the announcement of the Autumn Budget Statement delivered by the Chancellor the Exchequer, our HBAA Chair Louise had this to say...

“We’re disappointed by the absence of specific measures to help the hospitality and meetings industry in the Autumn Budget Statement to address important issues.

Financial incentives or assistance for young people to train and to encourage talent in the hospitality and events sector are needed to help reduce youth unemployment and prepare for the declining number of EU workers coming here, a massive and vital resource for this sector. HBAA hoped that the Chancellor would address this in his Autumn Budget Statement. While £20 million for further education colleges for T levels is good news, we need more investment in hospitality sector training.

We need to attract more young people to see the sector as a good career opportunity. Raising personal allowances and with it, the tax threshold is a step forward, but providing funds to encourage 16 to  19 year olds to train in the sector would have been a helpful initiative.

While we welcome the review of tourism and APD taxation in Northern Ireland, we’re disappointed that the review doesn’t cover England, Scotland and Wales as well."

Gavin Percy has been appointed as the new Commercial Director for Corus Hotels & Laura Ashley Hotels following his stint in the acting capacity for the Director of Sales.

As the Commercial Director, Gavin will be responsible for building an effective and proactive structure to help to drive the company forward. The Sales, Marketing and Rates & Distribution departments will report to the Commercial Director, who will be responsible for enhancing communication and coordination across the three departments, as well as increase work efficiency.

Gavin Percy said, “I really look forward to working alongside senior management and the commercial team to take the company forward to the next stage in its development as a leader in the mid and upscale hotel sector.”

James Joshua joined Corus Hotels Ltd as Contracts & Procurement Manager concurrently In-house Counsel’ on the 16th of October 2017. With an extensive legal background in the construction and energy sectors and experience in managing statutory and regulatory compliance in the UK and overseas, James will be responsible for developing and negotiating contracts on behalf of the company, as well as managing supplier relationships and strategies.

On top of this, James will be responsible for advising on Data Protection matters and acting as the company’s in-house Counsel. James’ skillset as a qualified barrister, alongside his possession of an MBA and PgCert Quantity Surveying, will be of great benefit to the company moving forwards.

James Joshua said: “I am excited to join Corus & Laura Ashley Hotel Group and look forward to working alongside senior management and my colleagues at our various hotels to help define the company as a niche brand leader in its mid and upscale hotel market segments.”

Announcing the new appointments, Corus Hotels HR Manager, Enza Guglielmo, said "We look forward to working with Gavin Percy and James Joshua, wish them the very best as they take up their new positions and extend our cooperative effort to them both for the success of the business.”

Find out more about Corus Hotels & Laura Ashley Hotels at and


Warwick Conferences has taken home two new regional business awards recognising its outstanding service excellence credentials and its innovative sales & marketing strategies.

The Coventry Telegraph Business Awards 2017 are designed to celebrate business success, recognise best in class achievements and highlight innovations that support regional
socio-economic growth or impact.

Warwick Conferences added to their accolades with the ‘Sales and Marketing’ award, which was received in recognition of the company’s innovative direct and digital marketing campaigns. This included the recent digital fly-through of their ground breaking new venue – The Slate. The video marketing campaign was targeted to specific business sectors, and its ability to find effective solutions to sales and marketing challenges. Warwick Conferences also took home the ‘Services Award’ in recognition of its demonstrable strengths in service excellence, business growth, innovation, technology, training and personal development.

Richard Harrison, Head of Conference Centres at Warwick Conferences, said: “These awards are a fantastic celebration of our local business community and its regional impact and we’re thrilled to have been recognised in this way. At Warwick Conferences, we work extremely hard to push boundaries and deliver fantastic experiences to our customers; our staff play a huge part in this and take considerable pride in demonstrating our core values of professionalism, commitment to service and value. We also pride ourselves on developing innovative and creative sales and marketing initiatives so to be recognised in this respect validates our continuing hard work in further growing the business.

“As a commercial business operating within The University of Warwick, all of our profits are reinvested back into teaching, and academic research to find solutions to some of the largest challenges facing mankind, improving our campus environment for all communities and in supporting local community engagement and outreach activity.To us these awards are an acknowledgement of the role we play in supporting the University, its partners in the region, and our efforts to build a regional profile by attracting and partnering with a broad range of organisations from a wide variety of sectors from across the country.”


Despite a recent poll saying 58% of domestic attendees want to keep journeys time to less than an hour, international travellers are far more flexible with 32% willing to travel ten hours.  The figures, which come from a poll taken amongst 120 Barbican clients clearly show that whilst distances need to be kept short for domestic events people are far more open minded when it comes to going abroad.

“Ten hours plus travel is great news for international events coming into London.  It puts so much of the world in our catchment area, particularly when you realise that 52% were willing to travel more than 6 hours,” comments the Barbican’s head of events, Jackie Boughton.  “What’s more, with the Barbican’s superb links to London’s international airports – which will improve further with the opening of the Elizabeth Line – we are perfectly placed to host events from all over the world.”

In particular, the Barbican is popular with international association events amongst which enquiries have been increasing as the venue has highlighted the benefits of its location, artistic and cultural links.  The Barbican is capitalising on this popularity by contracting Jamie Ades as Head of Associations to further increase its foothold in the market.

The research was conducted amongst more than 120 Barbican clients during Autumn 2017.  53% of respondents were corporate bookers, 21% association and 26% agency.

Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa has been crowned Best Venue (Town or City), East of England, at The Wedding Industry Awards 2018. The 4 star luxury hotel, based in Newmarket, is now shortlisted for the national finals, which will be announced in January 2018.

The Wedding Industry Awards recognise and reward excellence in the wedding sector, and aim to help individuals find the best suppliers. It is the only ‘client voted’ awards in the wedding industry in the UK.

Noel Byrne, Chief Executive of Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, said: “We are thrilled to have won the regional prize for the Best Town or City Venue in The Wedding Industry Awards 2018 – the Awards are highly valued, and showcase the quality of our venue to both current and prospective clients.”

“At Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa we pride ourselves on offering the highest levels of service, our dedicated team has a real passion for weddings and our Wedding Coordinator is always on hand to guide every couple every step of the way. We understand that no two weddings are the same and we always offer a completely bespoke and flexible service – whether it is an intimate gathering of 10, or a more extravagant affair with up to 150 guests, creating each couple’s vision is always top priority.”

As well as providing the perfect venue for wedding receptions, Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa is fully licensed for civil ceremonies. To find out more about Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa’s wedding facilities or to book an appointment call 01638 663175 or email:


A travel specialist in Bromsgrove is flying high as it brings new job opportunities to the area after seeing major business growth.

Hotel and Travel Solutions (HTS) is taking on new staff after experiencing a 64 per cent growth in business year-on-year thanks to its pro-active approach to sourcing new clients.

The firm, based at Five Mile House in Hanbury Road, was established in 2010 and provides corporate clients with bespoke solutions for travel, accommodation and venue sourcing.

This year has also seen HTS expand into event management as it tailors its services to the needs of its growing client base.

The company, which employs 21 staff members, moved offices last year to accommodate its growth and is now taking on three new reservations consultants and a conference development manager.

HTS is already looking into future staff expansions in all departments to cope with growing demand, with plans to create more than 40 jobs, including both junior and senior positions, over the next three years.

Juliet Wedderburn, Business Development Director at HTS, said: “We have seen a considerable amount of growth as we enter our eighth year of trading.

“We offer our clients a highly personal and efficient service in business travel, accommodation and venues which can look at everything from cost reduction, more choice and policy compliance.

“Our main sales trend is accommodation. A total of 80 per cent of our overall business is hotels, and 90 per cent of this is for bookings based within the UK.

“Our travel options include everything from air, rail, ferries and car hire to airport parking and airport lounges, and this year has also seen an exciting development as we expand into event management.

“This wide range of services means that we have been successful at both retaining existing clients and attracting new business. 

“Due to this continued growth, we are now looking at bringing even more new jobs to Bromsgrove as we plan to expand further and would like to hear from good communicators who would like to work with a progressive company.”

The company was founded by managing director Julie Shorrock, who has more than 25 years of hotel and travel experience with leading hotel chains such as Forte and Hilton.

She said: “It is excellent to see the company experiencing such major growth, which is down to the team fully embracing our pro-active approach to sourcing new business.

“This success means we are able to grow our team with four new positions and also look at further employment opportunities.”

For further information about Hotel and Travel Solutions and the opportunities available, contact HTS operations manager Danielle Stenton at


Tottenham Hotspur, along with its Official Catering Partner Levy UK, has today revealed the full line-up of world-renowned chefs bringing their expertise to the premium offering at the Club’s New Stadium, with Bryn Williams and Dipna Anand the final additions.

To mark the announcement, new CGI images of the premium areas in the New Stadium have been released, showcasing the exceptional surroundings guests will experience when the stadium opens in August 2018.

Award-winning Williams and Anand join the illustrious Roux family and Chris Galvin in bringing their celebrated cuisine to the prestigious On Four lounges and suites at the venue as the Club aims to redefine the premium experience within football.

On Four, located on level four of the new stadium, will provide an unparalleled line-up of esteemed chefs within one sporting venue, allowing guests to enjoy a wide variety of signature dishes originating from all over the globe at matchdays throughout the season.

The six chefs; Michel Roux Jr, Albert Roux, Emily Roux, Chris Galvin, Bryn Williams and Dipna Anand, run a combined 18 restaurants across the world, stretching from London to Dubai. Bryn Williams’ traditional British style and Dipna Anand’s vibrant Indian style of cooking, join the classical French cuisines offered by the Roux family and Chris Galvin, to create a Michelin-calibre offering never seen before at a sports and entertainment venue.

One of the numerous experiences that can be found On Four is the flagship restaurant and lounge The H Club. Set to become London’s next top Members’ Club, The H Club is situated on the halfway line and offers fantastic views from which to view the action. Members can select from five dining experiences throughout the season. Options range from:

  • Exquisite fine dining and informal brasserie style experiences
  • The opportunity to dine at the Chef’s Table with their food prepared on view
  • The Players’ Table experience where guests can dine alongside legendary former Tottenham Hotspur players
  • Informal bar for the occasions where members would prefer a light option or are short of time

In addition to the dining options available, guests will enjoy money-can’t-buy experiences such as the exclusive presentation of the Man of the Match award after each game and the chance to meet and talk to the nominated player. Meanwhile, members’ favourite wines, cognacs and liquors can be stored in a glass-fronted, temperature-controlled display Vault throughout the season.

On Four also includes Super Suites that can be fully customised by an interior designer to reflect an individual’s or brand’s values, and Super Loges, that offer the intimacy of a private dining experience and the atmosphere of a restaurant and bar.

Bryn Williams partners with Tottenham Hotspur having been part of the most prestigious kitchen teams in the UK. Working under Marco Pierre White at The Criterion, Michel Roux Jr at Le Gavroche, residing as senior-sous chef at The Orrery, and is now Chef Patron of Odette’s, London.

Bryn, who will design and prepare the entire On Four menu and oversee the service delivery at a range of Tottenham Hotspur matches next season said, “It’s incredibly exciting to bring my signature dishes and Britain’s finest produce to the Club’s New Stadium.

“The H Club closely resembles Michelin star restaurants across the globe in everything from the design and atmosphere, to the food that will be served. I’m looking forward to being part of something that takes the food offering at sports and entertainment facilities to another level.”

London-born Dipna Anand is known for her celebrated Southall restaurant Brilliant, as featured in Gordon Ramsey’s ‘Best’ on Channel 4, which specialises in providing authentic Indian food and boasts celebrity fans including Prince Charles.

Dipna said, “I have a love affair with Indian cooking and through this exciting collaboration with Tottenham Hotspur, I’m looking forward to bringing the fantastic Indian dishes I grew up with to a new audience.

“At one match, guests On Four might be eating the finest European cuisine courtesy of the Roux family, Chris or Bryn, and the next they will sample my taste of Asia – there is a great variety on offer.”

Andy O’Sullivan, Director of Hospitality, Tottenham Hotspur, said: “Bryn and Dipna complete what is an outstanding line-up of acclaimed chefs that will further enhance the premium offering at our New Stadium.

“Not only do they bring great culinary expertise and experience, they also offer unrivalled variety for guests On Four to enjoy.

“These partnerships with some of the world’s finest chefs demonstrates the commitment the Club is showing in delivering what will be London’s best sports and entertainment venue in every aspect.”

In addition to the chefs now confirmed, at seven games each season the Club will offer emerging ‘Hero Chefs’ the opportunity to showcase their talent On Four. Chefs from the local area and entrants into competitions such as the Craft Guild of Chefs ‘National Chef of Year’ will be chosen to design the menu and host service On Four, following in the footsteps of the Roux family, Chris Galvin, Bryn Williams and Dipna Anand.

When complete, the Club’s New Stadium will support more than 3,700 jobs, with £293 million pumped into the local economy each year – an enormous impact for an area in real need of new jobs and more economic activity.

Set to open in 2018, London’s largest capacity football club ground will feature a retractable grass field for Tottenham Hotspur home fixtures with an artificial surface underneath that will be multi-use and capable of hosting NFL matches, concerts and other high-profile events.

Full details of all On Four packages available can be found here


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