The Liberal Democrats are to hold their next Spring conference in Liverpool, it is announced today. The party has chosen the city's new £146m Arena and Convention Centre as the venue, citing its green credentials as one of the key attractions.
ACC Liverpool, on the city's famous King's Waterfront, is setting out to be the most environmentally-friendly venues in Europe, with its own wind farm, rainwater harvesting on the roof and a design which will produce half the CO 2 emissions of a traditional building. The Spring conference will take place in 7th to 9th March 2008 and is on course to be the party's biggest ever, with 1,500 delegates expected.
Menzies Campbell, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: "I am delighted the Liberal Democrats will be holding our 2008 spring conference in Liverpool, in the year the city celebrates being European Capital of Culture. "The Liberal Democrats have strong ties to Liverpool, having run the City Council since 1998. We also have two MEPs from the area."
Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, added: 'As a Liberal Democrat I'm particularly proud that we have chosen ACC Liverpool to bring its conference to the city. 'The conference is a key calendar event for the party in which some of our most significant policies are debated and determined. 'Political party conferences are fantastic for a city in terms of raising its profile and hopefully this will be the first of many more to come.'
ACC Liverpool, which opens in January 2008, is situated on the city's famous King's Waterfront and has a convention centre featuring 1,350 seats, a 3725m² multi-purpose hall 18 meeting rooms and total exhibition space is in excess of 7000m². The 'campus style' layout makes ACC Liverpool an exceptional venue for high security events. The adjoining Liverpool Echo Arena has 10,600 seats and is designed to attract high-profile entertainment and sporting events.
Emma Harris, Liberal Democrat Conference Co-ordinator, added: 'We chose ACC Liverpool because it is an incredibly impressive and state of the art facility but also manages to be so green. 'Liverpool is also a wonderful, dynamic city which is really developing itself. 'It is our intention to see how the Spring conference goes and, if it all goes well, we will be giving very serious consideration to bringing the bigger Autumn conference to Liverpool as well.'
Jacquie Rogers, ACC Liverpool's Convention Centre General Manager, said: 'ACC Liverpool will be a superb venue for political party conferences because it is an incredibly impressive, environmentally friendly, state of the art facility. 'We're absolutely delighted that the Liberal Democrats have chosen the city for their Spring conference and are working hard to persuade other political parties to follow suit.' ACC Liverpool has placed a huge focus on its environmental credentials - both in terms of the design of the building and its policies when up and running.
The design, by award winning architects Wilkinson Eyre, will produce half the CO 2 emissions of a traditional building and use 20% less electricity. As well as this, five 20 metre low-noise wind turbines will generate the equivalent of around 10% of ACC Liverpool's electricity and the facility will also source electricity from Scottish Power's Green Portfolio - which means it is generated by wind or hydro electric power. Rainwater will also be collected on the roof of the building, which will then be used to flush toilets, and a North West caterer - Heathcotes Outside - has been chosen to keep 'food miles' at a minimum. ACC Liverpool's partners are Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Vision, English Partnerships, the European Objective One programme and the North West Regional Development Agency.