This is the floating conference centre which is giving Lancashire’s business tourism sector a spectacular UK first.
The Brockholes facility - in the heart of a brand new nature reserve created just one minute off the M6 motorway on the outskirts of Preston - underlines the area’s far-from-ordinary offering for conference and meeting organisers.
Its impending opening has been welcomed by Lancashire & Blackpool Conferences & Meetings (LBCM) - a joint initiative between Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board (LBTB) and visitBlackpool.
The county is home to some of the most unusual, diverse and intriguing conference settings anywhere in the UK. These range from a world famous theme park to an incredible tree house conference suite - and the Brockholes centre is another fantastic addition to that varied and unique portfolio.
Opening in spring, the enchanting conference centre will float amongst the reeds, in a mosaic of wetland habitats. It is the only conference and meetings venue of its kind in the country.
The reserve is one of the best sites in the country for birds, in particular breeding waders.
Delegates are also likely to see lapwing, whimbrel and little ringed plover. Brockholes is also home to an array of damselfly, the latest arrival being the banded Demoiselle, and will also it will also have a sand martin bank.
The new site will have facilities for up to 130 delegates, a break-out room, lunchtime activities and offer team-building opportunities on the reserve.
With on-site restaurant facilities serving the finest local produce, organisers say Brockholes will provide the perfect venue for any event, big and small, creating a truly memorable and inspiring experience.
The centre’s design also reflects the vision of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, who own and manage the 106-hectare nature reserve, with its network of lakes, woodland and meadows.
Tony Openshaw, Director of Marketing at Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board, said: “We are all delighted about what Brockholes has to offer business and meeting organisers from across the country.
“It really is a unique setting for an event, conference or meeting - a naturally inspiring venue that will wow visitors, whatever the type and size of meeting or event.
“It is also a great addition to the area’s business tourism portfolio, reflecting the outstanding range of exceptional and distinctive venues we can offer.
Dawn Hooper, conference sales coordinator at Brockholes, said: “The new and unique floating visitor and conference centre is already attracting a lot of attention and we are very excited about its opening.
“It is the perfect venue for an unforgettable event and provides a real unconventional convention.
“Its low impact buildings encapsulate the vision of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. The centre will be carbon-neutral thanks to initiatives including energy conservation, reduced water usage, composting and recycling.”
The environment-friendly work carried out at Brockholes has led to it receiving a BREEAM Outstanding rating for the interim design stage of the floating visitor centre, making it the first building of its kind in the UK to receive the status.
BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings and sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design.
Bookings are being taken for conferences and events from May onwards. To find out more, visit lancashireandblackpoolconference.com or call 0845 371 4453.
Lancashire and Blackpool boast a host of unusual and ‘far from the ordinary’ business and conference venues. They include:
· Historic 13th Century Towneley Hall, set within 24 acres of impressive gardens and parkland near Burnley in scenic Pennine Lancashire.
· The captivating architecture of Morecambe’s restored, famous art deco Midland Hotel, sitting proudly on the seafront.
· Carnforth Railway Station, immortalised in the classic 1945 British film ‘Brief Encounter’ and recently brought back to life in a detailed restoration.
· The Invincibles suite at Preston North End’s Deepdale ground, one of the oldest professional sports grounds in the world.
· Ribby Hall Village conference venue, between Preston and Blackpool, which includes an incredible tree house conference suite.
· Pleasure Beach Blackpool, which can give an extra adrenaline boost to any corporate event.