Bring labour and conservative party conferences back, says Visit Blackpool
Visit Blackpool joined forces with the town’s Winter Gardens complex to exhibit at the recent Conservative Party Conference for the first time.
The resort’s message to over 10,000 delegates attending the four-day event in Birmingham was very direct: ‘Bring your party conference back to Blackpool’. Up until 2007, Blackpool’s Winter Gardens was regularly the destination of choice for both Conservative and Labour annual gatherings.
It highlighted that the town has enjoyed a multi-million pound transformation in recent years, including a new £28m Conference & Exhibition Centre being built immediately adjacent to the Winter Garden complex.
The Blackpool team also addressed concerns from delegates about Blackpool’s perceived poor transport connectivity and a lack of premium accommodation. They acknowledged that while both factors had contributed to Blackpool falling out of favour with the main political parties in the mid-2000s, millions had been invested in new tourism infrastructure and accommodation.
Mandy Tythe-McCallum from Visit Blackpool commented: “The response we had in Birmingham from MPs, Ministers and party members about a return to Blackpool was overwhelmingly positive.
“From older delegates who have very fond memories of visiting the resort over the last three decades, to young Conservatives who have never been but are ready for a change from the big cities, the appetite for a switch back to the seaside was clear.
“However, we also had to work very hard to demonstrate that Blackpool wasn’t just selling nostalgia. We have undergone an £100m investment programme, which has transformed the resort’s visitor infrastructure, and at its heart is a brand-new conference and exhibition centre that has been specifically designed to accommodate modern national party conferences and other large-scale events.”
“This is the message we took to the Conservative conference, and the feedback was very encouraging.”
With the addition of the new Conference and Exhibition Centre, the Winter Gardens will become a hub of 12 distinct venues offering a total of 4.9 acres of connected conference, meeting, event and exhibition space.
The plans for the new Conference Centre and upgraded Winter Gardens has already seen the venue sign-up several new major clients and also welcome back a number of big events which had relocated to other venues.
Pictured: Jake Berry MP, who broke ground for the new conference facilities.