March 18, 2021
The official conference and events bureau for Cambridge is announcing a number of prestigious new facilities within its venue portfolio, ready for when face to face meetings can resume.
Meet Cambridge is highlighting a range of developments at its venues which will enhance the offering to event organisers looking to arrange meetings of all kinds – from training sessions to private dining.
At Homerton College, an auditorium with retractable seating for 105 people, together with 18 en-suite guest bedrooms, comprise the new North Wing. The auditorium, equipped with state-of-the-art AV, has been designed as a flexible space which can be adapted for a number of uses, from lectures and conferences to musical performances. Further refurbishment is underway at the College, including the construction of a new Dining Hall to seat 300 people which is scheduled for completion at the end of 2021.
An extensive update and redesign of the Dining Hall and other spaces located in the historical heart of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge is the focus for its Central Spaces project, which will provide an elegant and flexible suite of rooms that connect directly through a light-filled Atrium with the existing state-of the-art facilities available at the College’s 150-seater McGrath Conference Centre. Moving a staircase in the Centre has created space in the lobby for conference registrations, networking and poster sessions, as well as allowing the building to operate on an exclusive use basis when the College is able to open again for external events.
The project as a whole will create welcoming spaces for a wide range of meetings, with capacity for 190 in the Dining Hall and 20 in the new Dr Sydney Smith Room, all served by fully-equipped, modern kitchens. Careful consideration has been given to enhancing sustainability and accessibility to address the needs of visitors for generations to come. This transformative project is scheduled for completion in Summer 2022.
King’s College has unveiled a new look for its Old Garden Hostel building. The project which started in 2019, includes a full refurbishment and extensions to the north and west elevations as well as the addition of a third floor providing 40 extra bedrooms. The sympathetic restoration lends an Art Nouveau elegance to the main areas; the existing 30 single bedrooms have also been enhanced with stylish en-suite bathrooms bringing the total number of bedrooms on site to 70; perfect for conferences and events in the College’s vacation periods. Accessed via the historic Fellows’ Garden, guests also enjoy a walk through one of Cambridge’s most beautiful settings to reach the accommodation.
The Forum Building has been given a new purpose at Jesus College, housing a professional kitchen and spacious dining rooms whilst a two-year major kitchen redevelopment project at the historic heart of College is underway.
Another major kitchen refurbishment has just been completed at Gonville & Caius College. It includes the Old Courts Main Hall servery and will enable the introduction of a new contemporary and vibrant dining service.
For those looking for spaces for smaller meetings, Wesley House will be offering two newly-refurbished meeting rooms, suitable for 10-12 people, board room style.
The Hilton Cambridge City Centre is also about to unveil a new look for its Isaac Newton Suite. This large, versatile meeting and function space has undergone a total renovation to include full audio-visual upgrade and a new bar, along with a complete redecoration in a light, contemporary colour palette. Additional, 86-inch smart 4K UHD screens have also been fitted in the hotel’s Byron, Wordsworth, Hawking and Tennyson rooms to ensure that the hotel is ready for hybrid meetings. A clever design element allows the screens to be covered with local artwork for private dining events or when the screens aren’t required.
In addition to its existing hotels, Cambridge will welcome a number of new establishments during 2021 to include The Graduate, Turing Locke Aparthotel and Hyatt Centric Hotel and The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton.
Judith Sloane, Manager at Meet Cambridge, said: “It is very exciting to see these new developments at our venues which will offer organisers an even wider range of possibilities for meetings of all kinds, in person or hybrid, as and when we can resume. It is hugely encouraging to see the investment that venues are making to upgrade and improve their facilities at this time, strengthening the unique experience Cambridge can deliver to organisers and delegates – we can’t wait to see all of our venues back in action and to welcome visitors once again, soon.”