In Parliament today I pressed the UK Government to maximise the benefits of the new International Conference Centre in Newport for tourism in the region.
Following a joint venture with the Welsh Government the International Conference Centre (ICC) Wales at the Celtic Manor is due to open its doors in summer 2019, and will be able to hold 5,000 delegates at one time.
During questions to Ministers from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport I said “With the building of the new £83million International Conference Centre at the Celtic Manor there is huge potential for Newport and Wales. What are Ministers doing with the Wales Office to encourage more events and conferences to Newport, home of the NATO Summit in 2014?”
Tourism Minister Michael Ellis MP responded by acknowledging the importance of conferences to the UK economy, and confirmed that his department was engaged with the Wales Office to support business events.
The ICC Wales will be another string in Newport’s bow, and will add an estimated £70m a year to the Welsh economy, and the project has been given great support by both Newport City Council and the Welsh Government. It’s vital that UK Government Ministers – particularly in the Wales Office – work with the Welsh Government to maximise the benefits of the new facility for tourism and business for Newport and south east Wales.
As a city, we already have a track record of success in hosting major events like the Ryder Cup and NATO summit, and Government at all levels has an important role to play in pushing the message that Newport and the wider region is open for businesses, and looks forward to welcoming visitors from around the world.