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Inntel are the specialist travel and meetings management company to the rail and freight industry and this was reinforced recently by being awarded the contract for the Rail Operations Group.  

Rail Operations Group were looking for a supplier to provide a centralised hotel booking, management and payment solution.  It was also important to them that the selected provider was well equipped to provide duty of care to their travelling employees and deliver cost savings.   Inntel’s specialist rail solutions provided exactly what the organisation were looking for.  

The Inntel rail industry hotel programme was also available for the Rail Operations Group to use, spanning discounted rates of up to 18% from BAR (Best Available Rate) in almost 600 hotels within 36 hotel groups and private properties across the UK.   

The Rail Operations Group are a highly innovative train operating company, dedicated to the rolling stock manufacturing, engineering and leasing sectors.  Their services include new fleet deliveries, transfers and cascade programmes, testing, commissioning running, storage and fleet movements for refurbishment and modification programmes.  

David Burley, MD for Rail Operations Group said:

” Inntel has been a welcome addition to Rail Operations Group. It has streamlined the process of booking hotels and it has given our employees a bigger and better range of hotels to choose from whilst lodging away from home comforts. We look forward to continuing our working relationship with Inntel for the foreseeable future”

Douglas O’Neill, CEO at Inntel also commented:

“Inntel have been providing accommodation booking services to the rail industry since the early 1980’s and today deliver great service to over 95% of the UK’s train operating companies.  We are delighted to welcome the Rail Operating Group as our newest client in this sector and look forward to a long and successful partnership”.

A Sustainable Future

Louisa Watson

Director of Marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort

The rapid rise of sustainability on the business agenda is remarkable. In just a few years it has quickly moved up from the lower down the agenda and Action List to close to the top, always under discussion and a high priority.

It’s a topic that now not only features prominently in most hotel, venue and event industry conferences, it’s also attracting many delegates to the sessions.

A venue like Wyboston Lakes Resort is now continually scrutinising a wider range of operational areas and delving to greater depths and detail to search for opportunities to be more sustainable.

In June 2019 Wyboston Lakes Resort achieved Silver Status in the Green Tourism Awards, the national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK & Ireland. To accomplish this, the venue was assessed against a rigorous set of 145 criteria, covering a range of areas including energy and water efficiency, waste management, purchasing, travel, biodiversity and more.

Here’s what we are doing today…

Energy Consumption

  • We are continuing with our ambitious plan to deliver reduce both energy and carbon footprint by saving a further 21000 KWH from the previous year.
  • We are looking at alternative methods of energy creation, including solar, wind turbine, ground source heat, biomass and battery storage.
  • We have started upgrading our lighting across site to the latest energy efficient LED styles.
  • We have amended our purchasing policy to ensure energy ratings are considered as part of the purchasing decision for all new heavy equipment

Waste Management

  • Working with our waste management partners we continue to be ‘Zero to Landfill’ for yet another year.
  • In 2018 we recycled over 20,000kg of cardboard waste.
  • We are looking at ways to reduce food waste and to ensure any food waste is dealt with to the benefit of the environment.
  • We discourage single use plastic and have already changed to paper straws, removed drinks stirrers and have introduced compostable coffee cups.  We have removed plastic water bottles from The Woodlands Venue and replaced with water cartons.
  • We have joined the MIA #20percentless scheme and have already achieved a 19% reduction already

Sustainability Initiatives

  • Working with our grounds team we have an active policy for planting trees in support of nature and nurture, these range from new saplings to semi mature trees.
  • We maintain a nature reserve on site which is supported by the Wildlife Trust.
  • We are actively seeking to reduce our paper consumption in all areas across site and have already reduced our flip chart use by replacing with squiggle boards and digital flip charts in the conference rooms.
  • In the Spa we supply our guests with disposable, bio-degradable hair towels to reduce the need to launder and we have replaced plastic drinking water cups with paper.

It’s a list that is growing all the time.

The forces driving this increasing momentum come from several sides. We are primarily self- motivated, focused on environmentally friendly initiatives, because we want to benefit our employees, our community and ultimately our planet. At the same time, we also want to stay ahead of the expectations of guests and our clients who frequently include extensive lists of requirements around sustainability in business tender documents.

Overall, for Wyboston Lakes Resort, this increasing focus has created a further benefit. It’s providing the opportunity to bring our diverse efforts under one umbrella and create a culture of conscience in what we do and how we do it.

Sustainability is not just a buzz word, it’ s here to stay. We all now have to look at what more we can do over the coming months and years, both new ideas and further implementation of existing ideas. Here we will be launching our 2020 “Green Objectives” later this year to give clear focus on what we want to achieve.

But it must be a team effort by everyone in the industry and we look forward to working closely with both our clients and suppliers to make better choices to benefit future generations.


BUSINESSES visiting York’s leading hotel could come face to face with a colourful cast of characters – from Vikings, to Dick Turpin and even Guy Fawkes.

Five AA star hotel, The Grand, York, has joined forces with The York Dungeon to create a special offer for corporate clients holding meetings or events at the hotel.

From September through to February 2020, bookers can incorporate a tour of the popular attraction into their schedule at no extra charge – giving delegates the chance to meet famous faces from York’s past and delve into the darkest moments of its history.

The opulent five-star hotel – which was built as Palace of Business for the North Eastern Railway in 1906 – is a prestigious venue for corporate functions, from meetings and conferences to formal dinners and team building events.

And, along with room hire and a two-course lunch created by the hotel’s chefs, the new package will incorporate a private, 75-minute tour of The York Dungeon, with elaborate sets and performers re-enacting key historical events.

The tour also gives delegates the chance to survive The Curse of the Witch – The York Dungeon’s newest show which promises to “bring terror to life.”

Visitors are transported back to 17th century England to meet one unfortunate soul accused of witchcraft and condemned to the gallows – and they have to decide whether she is innocent or guilty.

“It’s scary stuff,” said Philip Bolson, general manager at The Grand, York, “and a great way of putting people’s analytical and decision-making skills to the test.

“But a trip to The York Dungeon is also terrific fun – which is why we are delighted to be able to offer this complimentary trip to our corporate clients.”                                

The package is available for parties of 10 or more and could be scheduled for morning or afternoon for day delegates – or as a pre-dinner treat for businesses extending their stay with a 24-hour package.

The hotel’s day delegate package costs £55 per person from September to December and £45 in January and February 2020.

Prices for the 24-hour package, which also includes dinner in a private dining room and an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s 207 bedrooms, start at £223 per person.

For more information about meetings and events at The Grand, York, call 01904 380038, email or visit

Imago Venues has been awarded the prestigious Investors in People (IIP) Platinum Accreditation.
The award is IIP’s highest accolade and less than 2% of all the organisations world-wide assessed are rated at the Platinum level.

IIP is an international standard for people management and recognises organisations for their commitment to high performance through strong people management and development.

Assessors praised Imago Venues in a number of areas including: Involving employees to identify changes to improve the business, encouraging staff to take responsibility and ownership, tracking staff progress and celebrating staff success.

Other key areas that were noted are:

  • Staff know the vision and objectives of the company. People are aware of the ‘Imago Way’ which translates into exceptional customer service
  • There is a strong united Senior Leadership Team who promote and embed the values in everything they do. People consistently comment on belonging to a supportive team and everyone has a voice
  • Line managers empower, support and maximise employee’s potential. This has been driven by developing a coaching culture. Staff are encouraged to make decisions, use their initiative and to drive change
  • Continuous job development is a key component of Imago’s culture
  • Staff are encouraged to share innovative ideas of how to build a sustainable business


Kay England, chief executive of Imago Venues, said: “I am incredibly proud of everyone at Imago Venues and we are thrilled to have achieved our ambition and received the Platinum award.

“Our staff are at the heart of who we are and what we do. We firmly believe in equipping and empowering our team to be the best they can be. Investing in the personal and professional development of our staff makes us a stronger company and improves the service we provide to our guests in all of our award-winning venues.”
Imago Venues is Loughborough University’s conference and events arm. Its portfolio includes the Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel, Burleigh Court Conference Centre and Hotel, Holywell Park Conference Centre, the Link Hotel and Loughborough University Campus.



Lime Venue Portfolio has once again expanded its portfolio of unique and unusual venues with the arrival of Molineux Stadium, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. The Premier League football stadium joins the portfolio this month and adds to the brand’s demographic spread across the Midlands.

The news follows on from the arrival of Welford Road, home of Leicester Tigers, to the portfolio last month, and again strengthens the options for event organisers across the East and West Midlands area. The news also means the portfolio now has four Premier League football stadiums (Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Leicester City), two Premiership Rugby Stadiums (Harlequins, Leicester Tigers) and two national stadiums (Aviva Stadium, Twickenham Stadium).

“One of the strengths of Lime Venue Portfolio is the number of enquiries we get through our award-winning sales team. These enquiries grow every year because we are able to fulfil the vast majority of them with the right venues in the right places,” comments Jo Austin, Sales Director, Lime Venue Portfolio. “We’ve always said we’re a premiership brand, and now we have another elite level stadium venue. Molineux Stadium is the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, a club with a rich heritage, which brings to life some really elegant spaces in the stadium, ideal for creative event organisers.”

“We have a really strong C&E business here at Molineux Stadium, we have brilliant spaces and really loyal customers who love what we do,” comments Julian Britton, C&E Manager at Molineux Stadium, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers. “However, we’re looking to build on the existing business with better relationships with national businesses and agencies, and we want to work with a business with a proven record of delivering and working with these sectors. We’re really excited by our new partnership with Lime Venue Portfolio.”

“Good first half year for UK meetings business is set to continue for the rest of 2019”

observes Angie Mason, Chair of HBAA,

as HBAA Meetings Barometer reports on first six months of 2019

“It’s been a good first half of the year for the UK meetings industry and bookings for the rest of the year indicate that this buoyancy will continue until at least the end of the year.”

Angie Mason, Chair of the HBAA sees plenty of good news for the industry in the figures reported in the HBAA Meetings Barometer for the first six months of 2019.

The report, developed in partnership with The MeetingsBenchmark Ltd, reveals that the average spend per meeting had risen by 8.8 per cent to £2,144 from £1,971, the average spend throughout 2018. The average spend per delegate had also increased by 6.7 per cent, from £85.71 in 2018 to £91.46.

The average day delegate rate (DDR) had also risen slightly from £32.89 last year to £33.17 while the average number of delegates has remained the same at 54.

Increasing confidence among event planners is reflected by the reduction of lead and conversion times.  The average lead time for forward booking of events has gone down from 79.7 days to 78.3 while the average conversion time went down slightly from 18.5 days last year to 17.9 days so far in 2019.

Looking at forward bookings for July to December, currently the average spend per delegate is up substantially to £116.54. and the average DDR up to £33.90.

Angie Mason, HBAA Chair observed: “The HBAA Meetings Barometer data highlights positive trends in the market and plenty of strong reasons to be optimistic and confident about business in the imminent future.”

To download the full report, please click here

HBAA has raised over £32,500 since January for social enterprise company Buses4Homeless.

This substantial sum has been generated from auctions, raffles and donations at the association’s Kick-Off Dinner, Online Charity Auction, Come Dine with Me and Annual Forum events so far this year.

Founded by Dan Atkins, Buses 4 Homeless plans to fit double decker buses that are no longer emission zone compliant as overnight shelters (Buses 4 Shelter) (pictured), kitchens and dining areas (Buses 4 Dining) education centres where the homeless can develop vocational skills to integrate them into the work place (Buses 4 Learning) and for relaxation and recuperation (Buses 4 Wellness).

The money raised by HBAA members has already been used to complete the first Bus 4 Shelter which is fitted out with sleep pods, storage space and toilets as a 16 berth ‘sleeping bus’.  It has also helped to finish a semi-open top Bus 4 Wellness, which has areas for one to one and group mental health support as well as for physical therapy. A Bus 4 Learning has been equipped with 16 desks and office chairs, wiring and a chill-out/meeting area. The upper deck of the Bus 4 Dining now has tables and 32 reupholstered seats. A commercial kitchen will be installed downstairs when money is available.

In addition to the funds raised, many HBAA members have contributed not only valuable materials that have been used but also a vast amount of their personal time to work as volunteers on the project.

Dan Atkins says “While we’re thrilled with all the help we’ve had and with the progress on the buses, we can’t use them until we find a suitable parking area for them. That’s our priority at the moment.”

Angie Mason, Chair of the HBAA said: “Our target for the year was £30k and to surpass it so quickly is a testament to the generosity and selflessness of the entire HBAA membership. We can all take immense pride that Dan has been able to develop his vision so rapidly. We’ll be continuing with our wholehearted support and are looking forward to seeing the first rough sleepers moving into the bus as soon as Dan finds a suitable place to park it for the long term.”


350 members of the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) gathered at Wyboston Lakes Resort, Bedfordshire, for a week-long event to celebrate the club’s 141st birthday.

The CTC Birthday Rides provided a packed programme, all day every day, of daily cycling routes, visits to Bletchley Park and the Imperial War Museum at Duxford near Cambridge, informative talks, live music performances, quiz nights and film screenings. 

Opening the event, Gordon Thorpe, Mayor of St Neots (pictured right), said “I’m delighted to welcome the CTC event to St Neots and pleased to see so many keen cyclists.”

CTC, also known as Cycling UK, works at a national and local level to lobby for cyclists’ needs and wants. The club provides services to members and organises local activities for those interested in cycling as well as cycling holidays. Originally focused on amateur road cycling, Cycling UK now includes everyday transport, commuting and many forms of recreational cycling.

Steve Jones, Managing Director of Wyboston Lakes Resort commented, “It’s a great honour to have been chosen by the CTC as host venue for the Birthday Rides.”

Paul Tuohy, Chief Executive of Cycling UK (pictured left) said, “In addition to being able to accommodate such a vast number of members and their guests, Wyboston Lakes Resort’s superb facilities and location made it the ideal choice to hold this year’s birthday celebrations. The surrounding areas offer fantastic cycle routes.”

Jim Maynard, CTC Event Organiser added, “Wyboston Lakes is one, if not the best venue we’ve had for this event.”

For more information about Wyboston Lakes Resort, please visit

For further details about Cycling UK, please see

Imago Venues at Loughborough University is supporting a new initiative to help students save money and to enable them to feel their best in upcoming interviews.

Suitably Dressed is a project led by Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU) Enterprise Section and aims to support students who may not have the funds to buy a new outfit for a work interview or formal event.

A donation bin will be placed at Imago’s flagship venue Burleigh Court Conference Centre and Hotel. Guests, staff and students are being encouraged to drop off unwanted clothes, suitable for professional interviews and other formal events such as awards ceremonies.

This includes items such as blazers, skirts, trousers, dresses, jumpsuits, ties, belts, shoes and shirts in a variety of sizes and styles, aiming to accommodate as many students as possible.

Emma Boynton, Head of Sales and Marketing at Imago Venues, said: “We are proud to be supporting this important initiative to help students be the best that they can be – which is embedded in Imago’s ethos.

“We have a strong relationship with our customers, and we are encouraging them to think about what items they could donate to this good cause. Whether you’re staying as a guest at the hotel and want to use the donation bin or would like to send an item to us, every contribution will have a positive impact on someone’s life.

“We will also be encouraging our own staff to have a think about how they can support the scheme.”

Ash Ponder, LSU Enterprise Section Chair, said: “This is a really exciting scheme that will help students from all backgrounds to feel prepared when they are on the hunt for placements and jobs. It also will help people to get involved at other formal events during University, such as award ceremonies.”

Not only will the initiative help students save pennies and help them to feel more confident, but it is also a sustainable alternative amidst a time where society is considering the detrimental impacts of fast fashion.

Students will be able to borrow the items of clothing and receive a discount to get it dry cleaned afterwards at the Loughborough branch of Johnsons the Cleaners before returning the items.

A representative from Johnsons the Cleaners said: “We are excited to be working with Loughborough Students’ Union and Loughborough University on Suitably Dressed. As a company, we care for the environment as well as our customers’ clothes.

“Johnsons co-founded and introduced into the UK market a new non-toxic dry-cleaning solution, Green Earth. Supporting Suitably Dressed gives us the opportunity to further our environmental impact by encouraging clothes to be recycled and help to reduce textile landfill.”

For more information, please email Emma Bishop, Student Enterprise Engagement Manager, at


EVENTS organisers needing natural light for their meetings and conferences can benefit from alterations taking place at Hilton London Heathrow airport hotel.

The hotel at Terminal 4 is popular for meetings, conferences and events because of the variety of flexible spaces it has available and the fact that it is easily reached from central London.


And now to meet the needs of certain industries which require daylight when they host a conference, the hotel has converted its Concorde Suite doors to frosted glass doors, offering guests the possibility of enjoying natural daylight in the hotel’s second largest meeting room, while still keeping their event private.

The hotel has 965 sq metres of space which can be configured in a variety of ways, with 15 meetings rooms which can take up to 300 guests.

It also has its own beach terrace for receptions and less formal gatherings, with a dedicated business centre which offers support to all meetings and events’ organisers or delegates.

Jurgen Sutherland, General Manager at the hotel, believes the transformation will be a welcome addition to the hotel’s meetings offering and will be available from the end of August.

“We have taken on board our agent and client feedback regarding the ongoing necessity of offering natural daylight within our meeting space and I believe this will not only enhance our already strong offering for meetings and events but also show that feedback is valuable for us to make the changes our clients and guests would like to see.” he said. 

The hotel offers a wide range of options for meeting and events, including healthy eating packages and those which include exercise sessions to keep delegates alert and energised.

Anyone wanting more information about booking the terrace should email or call 0208 750 0645.

Voted Europe’s Leading Airport for five consecutive years and the world’s Leading Airport hotel for two, Hilton London Heathrow Airport is superbly connected to Heathrow’s Terminal 4 via a short walkway and provides a relaxing retreat whether flying into or from London’s Heathrow Airport. To enroll in Hilton Honors and take advantage of great deals when booking direct visit:


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