Labour picks Brighton for 2015 conference shortly after booking next year

Posted On 07 Feb 2012 at 9:52 pm

The Labour Party has booked the Brighton Centre for its annual conference for a second time in a matter of weeks.

The party will hold its conference in Brighton in 2015, having announced less than a fortnight ago that it would be here in 2013.

It had been due to meet in Bournemouth for both conferences.

The news was announced this afternoon (Tuesday 7 February) by Geoffrey Bowden, the Brighton and Hove City Council cabinet member for culture, recreation and tourism.

Councillor Bowden told colleagues at a meeting at Hove Town Hall that the booking was a vote of confidence in the newly refurbished Brighton Centre.

The venue had recently reopened after a £1 million refurbishment. It had more efficient lighting and water systems which would save at least £70,000 a year.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden

He said that both conferences would attract about 8,000 delegates and visitors and they would each generate about £20 million for hotels, restaurants and the local economy.

He said that the two Labour conferences would follow the Liberal Democrat conference in September this year.

And that the TUC and Unison bookings were among the other big money-spinners for the city in the current year.

He added that bookings had been received as far ahead as 2024.

At the same meeting he approved a new arrangement with the Visit Brighton convention bureau which represents 14 conference partners.

They include the Brighton Centre and the Dome as well as hotels such as the Grand, Metropole, Thistle, Seattle and Holiday Inn.

Nine of the venues were paying a flat fee of £2,200 a year to be represented by Visit Brighton.

The other five were paying commission of 10 per cent to Visit Brighton on all venue hire and food and drink spending generated through the arrangement.

All of the hotel partners paid 10 per cent commission on bedroom bookings.

Rival organisations in other resorts charged commission to all their partners and this, Councillor Bowden accepted, would be fairer in Brighton and Hove.

In the year to last March the current arrangements generated about £20,000 for Visit Brighton. The new arrangements, which take effect from Sunday 1 April, would bring in an estimated £60,000 to £70,000 a year from 2013-14 onwards.

A report presented at the meeting said that Visit Brighton currently brought in business worth £60 million to the local economy which supported jobs and businesses.

Last month the council said that 28 major conferences and events booked for this year were expected to attract 30,000 delegates and earn the city £45 million.

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