Work starts on Southwater convention quarter project in Telford
by Annie Byrne
Work has started on the first phase of a multi-million pound development that will transform the heart of Telford and The International Centre (TIC). The work at TIC in St Quentin Gate, is the start of the new Southwater development, and the first step towards a brand new convention quarter for the town. The project is a joint initiative between the Southwater Event Group (owners of TIC) and Telford and Wrekin Council. Southwater Event Group chief executive, Tom Gray, says he is “extremely excited to see work starting on site on the first stage of a development that will change the face of Telford”. “We’ve worked in partnership with the council, and with other organisations and businesses to bring this development to life, and we’re all looking forward to a dynamic future for the town as a whole,” he adds. The initial work will create an additional entrance for TIC by September. This will allow the venue to host more events simultaneously and manage traffic flow better. A second new access will then be built, with more breakout space and a new event suite for up to 1,500 delegates (almost 3,000sqm of extra event space). There will also be additional public areas at the venue itself, and plans have been submitted for a new hotel, bars and restaurants. “We are creating additional entrances so that we can host more events all at the same time, and enable each event to have its own dedicated access and reception areas. This will increase the flexibility of our facilities, and create more opportunities for organisers in our increasingly busy diary,” says Gray. “Our ambition is to cement TIC’s position as one of the best events venues in the UK, but to do this, we need to see the development of the town’s infrastructure. The council’s masterplan for the new convention quarter will create a thriving night time economy with the International Centre at its heart. “By investing in our facilities, we believe we can compete more effectively at a national and international level, and bring more business to the area, which in turn will create new jobs and new investment opportunities,” he adds.