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Event Exeter unveils £48m investment in the Forum

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Deborah Meaden Event Exeter has unveiled its £48m investment in the Forum. The Forum building, located at the centre of the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus and featuring a refurbished main library and Great Hall, marks a rejuvenation of the South-West as a conference destination.

The £48m investment programme, funded by the University of Exeter has launched a facility that draws together three core differentiators: progressive technology, sustainability measures, and catering under its iconic gridshell roof.

"The University of Exeter is recognised as one of the great beacons of learning and we are delighted we can bring this to the corporate market with the development of the Forum.," says Assistant Director Campus Services (Sales and Events) at the University of Exeter, Sarah Snow.

The Forum’s two-year build process has created a 400 capacity auditorium, 12 seminar meeting rooms with capacity for 25 and two Exploration laboratories, as well as accommodation for 1,200 delegates. The Forum also provides expansive networking areas, with a landscaped outdoor piazza.

An investment of over £500,000 in technology means the Forum can offer live conference capture to allow speakers to record their sessions with Echo 360, double screen video conferencing and digital signage meaning keynote sessions in the main auditorium can be streamed to other rooms or used by sponsors.

Seating in the auditorium has been specially designed to facilitate group discussions with fully rotational seats; each seat is also individually networked with data and power sockets.

In a first for UK universities, the Forum offers two Exploration Laboratories. The first offers ten 65-inch computerised learning ’surface tables’ with touch-screen technology, allowing delegates to research, share and present their work within small groups. Adjoined is a second laboratory offering 60 tablet PC’s alongside video conferencing facilities.

"The Forum is an important addition to the University of Exeter, in terms of the wider opportunities it affords by drawing high yielding business events to the local area," says Deborah Meaden, Dragon’s Den Investor and Entrepreneur. "The new facility underlines the University’s drive to be the best in the world for education and knowledge," she adds.

To fulfil CSR credentials construction materials have been re-used and recycled where possible, Green Guide ’A’ rated materials have been incorporated at every opportunity and the building fabric and glazing used in the Forum has achieved a level of thermal performance 10 per cent better than is required by building regulations.  

The Forum was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 2 May 2012.

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19 June 12

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