Construction to begin in March, after funding details agreed for new International Convention Centre Wales.
Funding details have been agreed between the Welsh Government, Celtic Manor Resort and Natwest (part of the RBS Group), to deliver the new International Convention Centre (ICC Wales) in Wales.
A total of £51.1M will be loaned to the joint venture company by NatWest’s local corporate team.
As well as the tripartite funding agreement, the Welsh Government and Celtic Manor Resort have signed contracts to establish a shareholders’ agreement and project management agreement to build and run ICC Wales. John Sisk and Son have also signed a construction contract, after working well to pro-actively ensure construction costs remained within budget over the last 12 months.
The total development cost is £83.7M, including car parking and external landscaping.
ICC Wales will be capable of accommodating up to 5,000 delegates with a total floor space exceeding 26,000 sq m.
The centre will house a 1,500-seat auditorium and separate exhibition hall which, at 4,000 sq m, will provide the largest pillar-free ballroom in Europe, capable of hosting 2,400 people for a gala dinner.
Celtic Manor Resort Chairman Sir Terry Matthews said: “This International Convention Centre has been many years in the planning and I am delighted that we are now in a position to build and deliver this facility that will be such an asset to Wales.
“The Celtic Manor Resort has already established a reputation as the UK’s No 1 Conference Hotel but this new centre will be a real game-changer. In the past, we’ve been forced to turn away hundreds of millions of pounds of business because we did not have the capacity to hold the largest conferences. Not any longer.
“This International Convention Centre will allow us to attract the biggest and most lucrative business events to Wales, as well as high-profile summits and party political conferences. ICC Wales will rival any convention facility in Europe and will act as a magnet for major events, bringing huge benefits to the Welsh economy.”
Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates said: “This will be a major asset for Wales, enabling us to compete with any venue in the UK and indeed Europe to attract and host key events that make a huge contribution to the economy.
“It is also important to emphasise that not only is it an asset for the Celtic Manor and Newport specifically, but this development will provide a very real long-term boost for the entire economy of South Wales. It will create direct and indirect jobs during the construction and operational phases, provide new business opportunities for a wide range of supply chain companies and deliver extensive knock on benefits for tourism throughout the region.
“It will place Wales firmly at the forefront of business tourism destinations and I am delighted it is being delivered in partnership with the Welsh Government.”
Construction is to commence in March.
The centre is expected to open for business for June 2019.
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