BUILDING work on a £100m conference centre at the Celtic Manor has begun.

The the new building to house International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) is going to cover 26,000sqm and will dwarf the existing Celtic Manor. It is set to be open by June 2019.

Ian Edwards, Chief Executive of the ICC Wales commented, “We’re delighted that building work for the forthcoming ICC Wales has now begun after years of meticulous researching and planning in close collaboration with Government and our destination partners. Having played host to the 2014 NATO Summit and the Ryder Cup in 2010, the appetite for bringing prestigious events to Wales is already well established. We have spent considerable time championing the viability and demand for building an international convention centre here on this scale, and are thrilled that it’s now full steam ahead.”

“Until now, Wales simply hasn’t had the capacity to accommodate large-scale global conferences and events for upwards of 5,000 delegates but the ICC will compete with leading venues around the world and, crucially, for the first time, position Wales as a destination at the forefront of business tourism centres. The venue’s design and facilities are truly world class, and its location – adjacent to the M4 just over two hours from London and close to Newport’s main line train station as well as the international airports at Cardiff and Bristol – makes the ICC Wales an accessible and attractive proposition for international and national association conferences, corporate conferences, political summits and exhibitions.”

Ken Skates, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure added, “The UK has always claimed a creditable share of the global events market and we’re delighted that the forthcoming ICC will now put Wales on the international events stage in its own right. The ICC Wales will offer a completely fresh opportunity for the events industry with its extensive state-of-the-art facilities coupled with its excellent location and accessibility to some of Wales’ finest attractions and beauty spots. This development will place Wales firmly at the forefront of business tourism destinations and it will provide a very real long-term boost for the entire economy of South Wales.”

The ICC Wales will open in 2019 and is located within the grounds of the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport just two minutes from the M4. The new-build 26,000sqm venue will accommodate 5,000 delegates and includes a 4,000sqm pillar-free main hall, a 1,500 seated auditorium, 12 flexible meeting rooms, a double-height glass atrium and a 2,500sqm outdoor plaza for outside events and team-building. The ICC Wales also offers event organisers several green rooms, a production office, a business centre, a café and extensive breakout spaces on every level, including a 500sqm lounge overlooking the main atrium and outdoor terraces providing views over surrounding woodland and offering direct access outside. There are also 2,000 car parking spaces onsite and access to thousands of hotel guestrooms located in Newport and Cardiff, from budget hotels to luxury and 5 star accommodation.

The ICC Wales is a joint venture between the owners of the Celtic Manor Resort and Welsh Government and is managed by Celtic Manor’s expert leadership team responsible for the successful delivery of the 2014 Nato Summit and the 2010 Ryder Cup.