Construction on the new International Convention Centre
Wales (ICC Wales) will begin in March after funding details were agreed between
the Welsh Government, Celtic Manor Resort and NatWest (part of the RBS Group).
NatWest’s local corporate team will provide a £51.5m loan
facility to the joint venture company
which will construct and manage the new convention centre as a 50/50
partnership between Welsh Government and Celtic Manor Resort.
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. A construction contract was also signed with the principal building contractor,
John Sisk and Son, who have worked diligently and pro-actively over the past 12
months to ensure construction costs remained within budget.
With a total development cost of £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 square metres. It is
projected that the new facility will open for business in June 2019.
The centre will house a 1,500-seat auditorium and
separate exhibition hall which, at 4,000 square metres, will provide the
largest pillar-free ballroom in Europe, capable of hosting 2,400 people for a
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.
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 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.”
Banking and debt
facilities were structured and delivered locally by Stuart Allison,
Relationship Director at NatWest and David Moxham, Director of the bank’s
Structured Finance team.
Stuart said: “ICC
Wales is an exciting, high profile development that will bring significant
investment to the region. Having a world-class convention centre in the heart
of Wales will attract visitors from around the globe. ICC Wales has been an
exciting opportunity to demonstrate NatWest’s local capabilities, and we are
delighted to provide ongoing support to the project.”
David added: “The
team at Celtic Manor Resort has a strong reputation across the market for its
conferencing facilities and the ICC will enhance this further. We wish the
business every success for the future.”
Stephen Bowcott, Chief Executive of Sisk Group said: “We
are absolutely delighted to have been entrusted with one of the most
prestigious and important construction projects in Wales and to be using local
suppliers and workers.”
Excavation work has already begun on land adjacent to the
Resort Hotel and existing Convention Centre at Celtic Manor, clearing the way
for the two-year construction project to commence in March.
As well as the
auditorium and main hall, included in the detailed designs are five divisible
meeting rooms that will create a further 12 flexible spaces, breakouts at all
levels to outdoor networking spaces, state-of-the-art technology with fully
integrated audio visual facilities and fully serviced client offices, green
rooms and production facilities.
A 2,500 square metre
plaza will welcome visitors to the new centre and provide additional networking
and exhibition space. There will be HGV loading bays direct to both the
auditorium and main hall, and 700 car parking spaces will be created under the facility
with direct access to the ICC Wales arrival atrium.
Cardiff headquartered law firm Hugh James advised Celtic
Manor Resort and the joint venture company on the agreement, with corporate
partners Jon Fernandez Lewis and Gerallt Jones leading a large supporting team
on the project.
“We are delighted to have advised on this landmark deal
for the Celtic Manor Resort and Wales,” they said. “Both have a tremendous
track record of attracting and hosting major events and the new convention
centre will further enhance this; positioning the Resort and ICC Wales as
premier UK destinations for business and political conferences, summits and
Legal support was
provided to NatWest Bank by Osborne Clarke.
Main picture (top):Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy
and Infrastructure Ken Skates and Celtic Manor Resort Chairman Sir Terry
Matthews shake hands on the agreements, flanked by Sisk Group Chief Executive Stephen Bowcott, left, and NatWest Relationship
Director Stuart Allison