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Church House Westminster has scooped Silver at the 2021 London Venue and Catering Awards in the category ‘Best London Venue Covid-19 Response’ on Friday 19 November at The Kia Oval, London.

The prestigious London Venue and Catering Awards, organised by Global Conference Network, set out to recognise and reward outstanding achievements in London-based venues and catering companies. This year 17 categories celebrated the adaptability and versatility of London venues and catering companies.

Church House Westminster was shortlisted for two categories in this year’s London Venue and Catering Awards Awards: Best Best Staff Support During Covid-19, and Best London Venue Covid-19 Response.

International events

Please could you advise me by 5pm today of any shows/conferences you are aware of coming up between now and the end of February 2022 that are events where the main participants will be coming to the UK from overseas and/or the event is likely to attract a significant number of international attendees.

Voluntary certification

You have previously given us feedback on the differences between, and impacts on events/organisers of, scanning and visual checks on covid passes. We've been asked to gather fresh/further evidence on this issue, including for example if and how scanning is more burdensome. Illustrative and/or quantifiable examples (e.g. amount of time scanning adds to checks, any other negative impacts) would be really helpful. 

On this one I'd be really grateful for any feedback by this Thursday lunchtime.

You will have no doubt seen much on the news about the Government’s response to the new Omicron Covid strain. Here are the main points:

 New Measures being Introduced

First, here are the measures that the Minister has announced:

    • All international arrivals must take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
    • All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
    • Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport from next week. All hospitality settings will be exempt.

 One point to note on this is that the requirements for the Day 2 PCT test to not apply to travel within the Common Travel Area.

 It is expected that the guidance related to the wearing of masks on public transport and in retail businesses will be published today so we will have more information regarding the impacts on tourism businesses but the expectation is that the requirement will cover shops attached to attractions.  

  • New Countries Added to Red List

On Sunday at 4am, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia were added to the UK red list with South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. This means that people cannot travel to England if they have been in these countries within the previous 10 days unless they:

    • are a British or Irish national
    • have residence rights in the UK 

Children arriving in England from a red list country should not be travelling alone unless they are students in boarding school, higher education or further education.

 Even if they are fully vaccinated, people who have been in a red list country within the last 10 days must:

    • quarantine for 10 full days in a managed quarantine hotel (the day you arrive in England is day 0)
    • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining – these are included in your hotel package

 People transiting through England directly to a country outside the Common Travel Area do not need to enter managed quarantine. Instead, they can travel straight from their port of arrival to another port in England to catch a flight, train or ferry going outside of the Common Travel Area (ie., they can arrive in Heathrow and then travel to London and get on the Eurostar) 

  • Updated Guidance For Students Entering The UK

The guidance for students entering the UK from a red list country has been updated to take account of the new variant 

                And there is updated guidance for Students staying in Boarding Schools 


Monday 29th November

Kettering Conference Centre to re-open March 2022

Kettering Conference Centre, the contemporary all-purpose conference, event and exhibition centre will be re-opening in March 2022. Situated in Northamptonshire, Kettering Conference Centre is one of the most centrally located venues in the UK and is managed by The Venues Collection - a nationwide provider of training and conference facilities and part of Compass Group UK & Ireland.

The Centre can host up to 2,000 delegates and is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the Northamptonshire area. It is the ideal space to host meetings, training sessions, conferences, exhibitions, product launches, Christmas parties and wedding celebrations.

Joanne Barratt, Managing Director, The Venues Collection, said: “We are really looking forward to re-opening and welcoming events and visitors back to the Centre. We are already working with a number of local and national companies who are interested in our wide range of facilities and our central, easily accessible location. We will be opening in March 2022 but we are holding show rounds before this date for interested event organisers.

“We decided to wait until the conference and event market was fully back again before we reopened. Since lockdown, we have been supporting the NHS and our local community by housing an NHS COVID testing facility.”

 Diversity Ally announces The Diversity In Events Awards .....
Call for Submissions – Deadline 10th December 2021

The inaugural Diversity in Events Awards will take place on 26th April 2022 at the Cutty Sark, Greenwich

Diversity Ally, the leading Diversity and Inclusion organisation specifically for the events, meetings and hospitality industries, has announced the opening of applications for the inaugural Diversity in Events Awards.

Taking place on April 26, 2022 at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, London, the awards are the latest step in Diversity Ally’s commitment and mission to drive diversity through these important industries. 

The awards criteria has been designed to celebrate those companies, brands and individuals who are who have pro-actively incorporated, championed, and demonstrated diverse and inclusive elements across their businesses, events, technology and venues.

Speaking about the awards, Ashanti Bentil-Dhue, Co-founder of Diversity Ally commented: “It’s time to recognise and celebrate the organisations, businesses and internal champions who are demonstrably doing their part to create a more diverse and inclusive events industry.”

Gabrielle Austen-Browne, Co-Founder, Diversity Ally, said: “We have been privy to some great DEI initiatives and developments in the industry, at events and by organisations and individuals that deserve recognition.  These awards as well as being a celebration are also about demonstrating and inspiring best DEI practice by appreciating what our peers have been doing in this area and through the delivery of the awards itself.”

The awards are open to applications from any organisation, in any sector (public & private) including; media, education, tech, charities, publishers, brands, agencies, venues and individuals that deliver events in all of its forms, whether that’s in person events, virtual events, brand activations or experiential marketing campaigns. 

Factors such as accessibility, diversifying supply chains, diverse marketing collateral and content, diverse team make up and championing DEI initiatives will be considered when applications are made.

Early Bird Applications are open until the 30th of November. Applicants can view award guidelines and read the criteria on the website:


Brexit related updates

  • Advice For Visa Applicants And Temporary Residents

The guidance for visa applicants and temporary residents has been updated for those seeking leave to remain in the UK along the same lines as I mentioned last week regarding those seeking to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme. This means that the Home Office will:

    • consider employment income for the period immediately before the loss of income for people whose income has been impacted by Coronavirus
    • take account of your full income if you were on furlough
    • disregard a loss of annual income due to coronavirus between 1 March 2020 and 31 October 2021 if you are self-employed
    • overlook a short break of up to 6 months in continuous residence for those unable to travel back to the UK due to coronavirus travel restrictions between 1 March 2020 and 19 July 2021
    • decide an application without seeing certain specified documents, if you cannot get them due to coronavirus, until 31 December 2021.

Other updates

  • Consultation On Second Homes In Wales

Staying with Wales, the Government has also announced a consultation on proposed planning changes. This consultation seek views on the use of ‘class order’ in planning which would allow local planning authorities to require planning applications for additional second homes and short-term holiday lets in areas where they are causing significant difficulties for communities.

This consultation will shape a pilot programme which could involve making changes to planning, taxation and tourism systems and could have significant implications for the self-catering  sector as well as destinations that are reliant on this accommodation type.


  • Kickstart Guidance Updated

There have been two small changes to the Kickstart guidance for employers:

    • A Participant may not commence a Kickstart Scheme job after 31 March 2022. If any Participant commences any job after 31 March 2022, they shall not be classed as a Participant under this Grant Agreement and no payment will be due to the Grant Recipient under this Grant Agreement with respect to that individual.
    • Project End Date means, subject to any early termination provisions contained within this Grant Agreement, 30 November 2022

  • New Funding In Wales

The Welsh Government has announce that a £45m pot is to be made available to train staff and help Welsh SMEs. Of this, £10m will be given to further education colleges to deliver additional courses and qualifications to support 2,000 people to access a wider range of job opportunities and increase their earning potential in priority sectors. These include hospitality - including chefs, catering assistants, waiting and front of house staff



TIC Update 23 November

Made in the UK, Sold to the World

On 17 November the Government launched a new ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ plan to help businesses across the UK double exports and sell their world-class products around the globe. The Department for International Trade (DIT)'s 12-point export strategy includes the launch of a new UK Tradeshow Programme (UKTP), tailored to help businesses attend and promote their products around the world. The document captures the importance of business events, highlighting that international tradeshows are an invaluable opportunity for businesses to showcase their products to consumers and partners.It also recognises that the travel sector is the UK’s third largest service export, and references the Tourism Recovery Plan's framework for rebuilding the sector. 

Integrated Rail Plan 

The Government last week published the Integrated Rail Plan - an ambitious strategy setting out £96 billion worth of investment into the railways of the North and Midlands to support economic growth by transforming both East-West and North-South links. The plan will improve leisure travel across the North, as well as access to key international gateways and markets so they become even more attractive for business investments. This will enable the North to realise its economic potential and maximise opportunities for international travel and trade. For more information, please see the Department for Transport’s press notice. 

Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund

A reminder that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has urged organisations to apply for the second and final round of the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund. The fund of up to £10 million will provide grants of up to £100,000 to councils, environmental groups, businesses and other organisations to help them develop nature projects in England to a point where they can attract private investment. Funding will be invested in a broad range of projects that will deliver environmental benefits and are designed to provide a return on investment by capturing the value of the carbon, water quality, biodiversity and other benefits provided by natural assets such as woodlands, peatlands, catchments and landscapes. Please see more information here

Environment Act becomes law

On 10 November, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced the Environment Act has now passed into UK law. The Act will help to clean up the country’s air, restore natural habitats, increase biodiversity, reduce waste and make better use of resources. It intends to halt the decline in species by 2030, require new developments to improve or create habitats for nature, and tackle deforestation overseas. These changes will be driven by new legally binding environmental targets, and enforced by a new, independent Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) which will hold the government and public bodies to account on their environmental obligations. Please see here for more information. 

Volunteering Futures Fund 

The core objective of the fund is to support young people and people who experience barriers to volunteering, to build their skills, well-being and social networks through volunteering. We particularly want to create more and better volunteering opportunities for people:

  • who experience loneliness,
  • who experience barriers to volunteering, and
  • in areas where there are fewer volunteering opportunities.

DCMS has confirmed our delivery partners for this fund and will formally announce them imminently.  Our Arms Length Body partner, Arts Council England (ACE) has begun a soft launch, sharing some information publicly ahead of the portal for applications opening to allow for conversations about potential partnerships to begin. Through its strand of the fund ACE will enable people to get involved in volunteering activities across the arts, heritage, museums, libraries, sport and physical activity, youth and other community settings. For more information on how to express an interest with ACE when the programme opens on 22nd November, please find out more here.

23rd November 2021, UK: Hilton Birmingham Metropole - one of the UK’s most expansive overnight meetings and events destinations - has opened its new-look and highly flexible conference and events facilities. The announcement represents a relaunch of the hotel’s meetings product and forms part of the venue’s much anticipated, multi-million-pound refurbishment.

The new spaces are now fully operational and once again ready to accommodate some of the most recognised events in the UK. The new look is visible throughout the hotel’s 6,000sqm of meeting and events facilities, with all 31 event spaces receiving a contemporary facelift that belies the venue’s 45-year tenure.

The hotel’s bedrooms and three new bar and restaurant concepts complete the package, creating environments that celebrate Birmingham’s rich heritage and embrace its culture. Nods to industrialism combine with a celebration of local craftsmanship to mark the city’s prolific history.

 The refurbishment has also underlined one of Hilton Birmingham Metropole’s key selling points; one of exclusivity. The conference and event space is easily divided into three separate and distinctive areas allowing guests exclusive use of sections of the property. The hotel’s event and conference offering also remains diverse, ranging from intimate boardrooms to expansive ballrooms, the largest of which can host up to 2,000 guests.

The venue continues to benefit from its location. With the Birmingham NEC just a short walk away, the hotel sits at the very heart of the estate, surrounded by a wealth of business venues and attractions.

Spearheading the project is Nicola Underhill, who joined as General Manager in September 2021 from Hilton St George’s Park Hotel.

She said: “This project has been many years in the making, and we sense the anticipation from our guests who know and love the hotel; they really have been on this journey with us. We want to ensure that we can meet the returning industry demand, while remaining focused on delivering outstanding guest experiences within our refreshed hotel environment.

We’ve invested hugely in talking to our clients and working with all our stakeholders to ensure the new and improved space not only met with their objectives, but also exceeded their expectations. During its 45-year history, the hotel has secured an enviable reputation and we want to build on that by offering a new contemporary face to the brand.”

Hilton Birmingham Metropole, which usually hosts over 2,000 events per year, has enjoyed a phased re-opening since September, with the remainder of the project due for completion in early 2022. The refurbishment will include the completion of more than 600 of the hotel’s bedrooms, upgraded leisure facilities and the introduction of three exciting new restaurant and bar concepts.  

The UK's largest database of green accredited venues is helping planners with green wayfinding by showcasing venues that are working to be carbon neutral....

Planners can easily find venues who have achieved a recognised carbon neutral status by the new Carbon Neutral logo displayed on each venue profile on To gain this accolade, venues have to demonstrate a clear commitment to sustainability; prove that they completely understand their environmental impact and contribution to global warming and also offset their carbon footprint through recognised schemes. These schemes include those by’s partners Green Key, Green Tourism Standard, Quality in Tourism and ECOsmart. is also supporting planners in their green venue searches by prioritising sustainably-accredited venues in all searches of its 400,000-strong database.

“We’ve launched the new Carbon Neutral logo to showcase venues who have reached the next milestone in their sustainability journey”, Michael Begley, CEO of, explains. “A carbon neutral venue is one that takes significant steps to reduces its carbon emissions, resulting in no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This can be achieved through using renewable energy, reducing waste and carbon offsetting.

“As the UK's largest database of green accredited venues we want to support planners in making a sustainable choice as well as providing the data they need to report on their own carbon footprint.   Our new Carbon Neutral logo helps planners with ‘green wayfinding’, enabling them to instantly identify truly sustainable venues. We now have a database of over 4,000 green venues and our aim is to increase this to 10,000 by the start of 2022 by working with venue and hotel groups, some of whom have their own sustainability schemes.”


Steve Jones, Managing Director of Wyboston Lakes Resort says; “Working towards being carbon neutral is very important to us and using 100 per cent green electric energy has helped us significantly reduce our carbon footprint. Highlighting those venues that are working towards net zero and that have gained important accreditation is a valuable initiative by” will be sharing its sustainability initiatives at the Sustainable Events Show taking place on Thursday 25 November at the Barbican, London.

isla’s Launches an Event Planners Guide to Sustainable Print ......

18th November 2021, UK: Event sustainability industry body, isla, in partnership with its Print Working Group has developed the Better Buying for Print - An Event Planners Guide. The free resource is available to the entire events industry to support planners in making better print choices for events.

Graphics and signage are an integral part of any event, they guide delegates around a space and provide unique branding opportunities, but the temporary nature of events often means they are designed for single-use. The use of synthetic resins and harmful chemicals in dyes or inks also have huge negative implications both on the planet and managing the end of life of graphic products. A study by Ecobooth found that 100,000 tonnes of waste were burnt or sent to landfills from the UK events industry alone.

The project has been spearheaded by Laura Fell, isla Print Working Group Lead and Head of Graphic Production at GPJ. Laura says We recognise that wasteful graphics for one-time use needs to be a thing of the past. This re-think of event planning cannot fall only to print suppliers. With this guide, we're hoping to empower event planners across the industry to make better choices and educate their clients to make more informed decisions too. This will, in turn, enable large format printers to forge better relationships with the supply chain, and will one day eliminate really wasteful single-use signage materials.”

The Print Working Group, which launched back in April is specifically focused on solving the challenges of graphic and print impact on our event footprint. The group has pooled their expertise and research to develop the guide and see this as an opportunity to facilitate more informed conversations with suppliers around sustainable print.

Matt Phipps, Business Development Manager, MacroArt, one of the first member’s of the group said  “​​The complexity of delivering truly sustainable results in the world of events is often underestimated and can be daunting. It involves an extensive array of skills, materials and processes, covering the entire lifespan of a project. A guide of this kind will be an invaluable key to making the selection of sustainable choices more accessible, easier and more effective. ”

Designed to take an event planner through the process of scoping and designing a project in the most efficient and environmentally considered way - the guide includes a traffic light system to support better material choices, key watch-outs and alternative solutions to ensure sustainable credentials.

Anna Abdelnoor, isla co-founder concluded “There is a lack of knowledge of the complexity of upstream and downstream impacts of material choices which invariably leads to confusion and poor decisions. At isla our MO is collaboration and having access to these brilliant brains to develop this guide will be the first step in trying to create zero-waste print and signage projects ”

Download The Better Buying for Print - An Event Planners Guide from the isla website.

If you’re interested in being part of the solution for sustainable graphics and signage, or want to gain access to more resources like this guide become an isla member -

No TIER or Tourism Alliance updates tonight but we would like to draw your attention to the following:


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