Wales international Convention Centre gets the go-ahead


The design for the new Wales International Convention Centre at The Celtic Manor has been given the go ahead following this week’s announcement on loan funding by Welsh Government First Minister Carwyn Jones.

The concept by international design practice Scott Brownrigg received outline planning consent in July and the practice has since been commissioned by The Celtic Manor Resort to carry out the detailed design of the new centre which will be located close to the resort’s existing hotels and conference facilities at Coldra Woods, Newport.

Designed to attract major events from across the world, the state-of-the-art auditorium, exhibition hall and associated facilities will have capacity for around 4,000 delegates, making it the largest facility of its kind in Wales and the south west of England.

With a total capacity in excess of 20,000 square metres, the main auditorium will hold 1,300 delegates with the flexibility to divide into smaller spaces. A separate main exhibition hall will stretch to 4,000 square metres and be able to accommodate up to 2,000 guests for a gala dinner.

Neil MacOmish, Group Board Director at Scott Brownrigg said:
“We are delighted to have been selected to design Wales’ International Convention Centre, which is designed to be both memorable and create a lasting contribution to the special place, context and environment, not just of the Celtic Manor Resort but of this part of Wales. The design concept provides a simple “ground-scraper” – an amorphic organic gridshell that both hugs and abstracts the landscape but equally makes an enigmatic iconic statement to the adjacent M4 motorway. It also continues the stratification of the landscape terraces that form part of the wooded topography of site. Our client has given us a clear brief that requires a building which expresses a permanence and longevity that is entirely appropriate to the significance of this major strategic project”.

Mr Jones said of the scheme: “The recent NATO Summit and the Ryder Cup have shown Wales and the Celtic Manor have the ability to host events on a global scale. In order to capitalise on Wales’ growing reputation in this area we need a world-class convention centre to host international events and conferences on a regular basis. That is why we are supporting Celtic Manor 2014 Ltd as it develops its plans to create an iconic International Convention Centre.”

Celtic Manor Resort Chairman Sir Terry Matthews said: “We’ve made no secret of our desire to expand our successful business at the Celtic Manor and build on our status as the No 1 conference hotel in the UK. It makes me proud to be working with the Welsh Government to deliver the International Convention Centre that Wales so badly needs. It will rival any convention facility in Europe and act as a magnet for major events, bringing huge benefits to the Welsh economy.”

The International Convention Centre is scheduled to complete in 2018.