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The UK Venue Managers Association (UKVMA) has announced a new management team for day to day operation of the organisation. The new board will comprise Neil Levett, Noel Jeffs, Michael Cunnah and Konrad Start. Start will be overseeing the Association’s day to day operation.

UKVMA provides a platform for managers of multi-purpose venues, including major sports, music events conferences and exhibitions, to meet and discuss solutions to real and potential problems. It is also a forum for leading suppliers of products and services to the venue industry to regularly discuss, explain and demonstrate direct to influential end-users, as well as through the UKVMA website.

Chairman, Neil Levett said:

This is an exciting time for UKVMA. A number of new initiatives will be introduced over the coming months and the partnerships being developed between UKVMA and other parties can only lend themselves to more benefits and opportunities for UKVMA members.

UKVMA board at a glance

Konrad Start

Konrad Start

Based in London, Konrad has over six years of experience in the stadium industry working for PanStadia Publishing. After a first career in finance, Konrad gained a Football Industry MBA at Liverpool University, including a dissertation on Membership Schemes. Subsequently he worked for British Tennis as its Membership Manager.

Michael Cunnah

Michael Cunnah

Michael is an experienced sports business professional who specialises in reviewing strategies, business and financial plans, new stadium development plans, stakeholder relationships and marketing/commercial plans. He was the man responsible for overseeing the redevelopment of the new Wembley Stadium. He has worked as CEO and Finance Director of The Football Association and was Chief Operating Officer at Aston Villa.

Noel Jeffs

Noel Jeffs

Noel is President of the the UK Venue Managers Association, establishing the association as a market leader and knowledge base to help continuously develop and improve industry standards and best practice. See press release…

Jeffs has over 30 years of facilities and event management experience in the sport and entertainment industry. He directed the operational design and opening of the new Wembley Stadium ensuring regulatory compliance and licencing and was responsible for the planning and staging of more than 100 stadium concerts, in addition to international and domestic sporting events.

The Costa brand is available wholesale for venue caterers

The Costa brand is available wholesale for venue caterers

Costa, the UK’s largest and fastest growing coffee shop brand, is launching Costa Ice for its wholesale customers, including those in venues, who sell to consumers under the Proud to Serve (PTS) branding. The updated moniker, Costa Ice, has been introduced to provide a strong brand identity across all SKUs in the range.

Supporting PTS customers in driving sales amongst consumers looking to trade out of hot drinks during the summer months, the re-brand, along with the new The Coffee Cooler SKU will roll out from 17 May 2013.  An above-the-line marketing campaign, including outdoor and national press advertising will drive consumer awareness.

With the addition of the The Coffee Cooler, PTS customers will now be able to offer consumers three out of the four best selling Costa Ice beverages – delivering a suite of products now more aligned to the retail offer.  This also ensures Costa is able to offer PTS customers a core coffee product within each category. The Coffee Cooler will sit alongside the fruit coolers (blended with ice), as well as the ice coffees (served over ice) that are currently available to PTS customers. Simon Parton, Senior Beverage Manager, Costa UK, said:

Research amongst consumers identified a lack of understanding that the previously branded Ice Cold Costa products belonged to the Costa brand – with many also confused by the different options available.  The new branding provides a holistic identity across the range – providing a clear proposition for consumers.  With The Coffee Cooler already performing well in retail – we’re anticipating great results for PTS from this range over what we hope to be a long hot summer.

PTS customers taking up the newly branded range will be provided with Costa Ice training kits – designed to provide support and guidance to ensure customers can make the most the opportunity the range presents.  The kits include, category flyers with detailed consumer insights on buying behaviour, a DVD training aid to demonstrate how to use the blender and create recipes, sampling kits to drive trial and a comprehensive list of preferred ice suppliers for customers in need of ice storage support. On site point of sale is also available.

Manchester’s best venue for hospitality

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The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) has won the Best Hospitality Venue of the Year Award at the third annual City of Manchester Business Awards. MOSI, part of Lime Venue Portfolio, has invested £8.5 million into extensive redevelopments of the museum’s visitor and conference facilities, including a brand new Conference Centre, which can host functions for up to 400 people in the atmospheric former warehouse. The redevelopments were launched in January 2011, and the completion of two new galleries now means the venue can cater for functions for up to 1,000 delegates.

Red nose day wedding at Dundas Castle raises £1m

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Wedding worth a million.

Wedding worth a million.

A couple who entrusted their entire wedding to TV funny woman Miranda Hart celebrated their first hours of married life in a luxury Scottish castle.

Delighted staff and catering experts at Dundas Castle prepared a relaxing welcome for newlyweds Claire Gilchrist and Ben Springett, to help them recover from the whirlwind of their wedding day which was organised in a single day.

The couple headed to the stunning venue at South Queensferry after Miranda organised every element of their big day – including cake, guests, bridesmaids, outfits and rings – in less than 24 hours.

More than £1 million was raised for charity by the televised wedding special with a host of celebs and other well-wishers helping ensure it was such a massive success, including Dundas Castle which laid on a two night stay for the newlyweds.

The castle is among a number of the most exclusive venues in Scotland which partner with Prestige Scotland, a specialist arm of Sodexo Prestige and the joint team laid on a memorable visit for the couple, to round off their wedding celebrations.

As well as being put up in The Boathouse a romantic retreat sitting on the loch within the beautiful grounds, the Prestige Scotland team created a breakfast hamper, boasting the finest Scottish produce.

Lucy Scillitoe, Director at Dundas Castle, said:

We were delighted to be asked to play a part in this wedding as not only did it raise money for a great cause, it also allowed us to play a special part in the most important day of any couple’s life.

We work extremely hard to give the perfect stay for all our guests. For Claire and Ben it was a pleasure to give them a day or two of luxury in The Boathouse to help them relax and recover before their honeymoon.

We know exactly how to make newlyweds welcome, because the castle itself is one f Scotland’s most renowned wedding venues, while The Boathouse on the lake is a perfect intimate and romantic setting for a newly married couple.

Claire and Ben’s wedding raised more than £1million for Red Nose Day and it is a privilege to have been a part of that.

Glass Centre investment includes catering upgrade

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The National Glass Centre, of the North East’s most popular tourist attractions, is to relaunch its restaurant, after awarding its catering contract to Sunderland’s 1879 Events Management.

The newly named National Glass Centre Brasserie will offer a daytime menu and open as a destination restaurant at night, with the emphasis on a menu using local and regional products.

The awarding of the contract is the latest success for 1879 Event Management, a subsidiary company of Sunderland Football Club, which has won a number of major public and private catering contracts since it was launched a year ago.

It is hoped that bringing 1879 Event Management’s expertise on board will attract new business to the National Glass Centre, which was taken over by the University of Sunderland in 2010.

Over £2m is being invested in the Sunderland-based venue to make it one of the region’s most popular visitor attractions, strengthening further the wider cultural offer in the region as well as cementing its place nationally as the national centre for glass.

Arts Council England is funding the project to the tune of £750,000, while the centre received £350,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund along with a range of donations from smaller charitable foundations.

The Victoria and Albert Museum has praised the centre’s vision and the new team leading that vision and has also expressed real interest in collaboration.