Unique location sets scene for an award-winning venue

According to a major 2014 survey of UK businesses, location is the number one influencing factor when selecting a venue for events and confer­ences.

With its breath-taking views to the Wallace Monument and Ochil Hills, Stir­ling Venues justifiably claims to offer one of the most stunning and accessible loca­tions for large and small scale gatherings – and it’s right in the heart of Scotland.

Only 40 minutes from both Edinburgh and Glasgow with superb transport links, Stirling Venues is one of the country’s largest single-site conference, events and accommodation providers.

It offers 10 large lecture theatres, 70 seminar/break out rooms with high speci­fication presentation facilities, a dedicated exhibition area, a range of private dining options for large corporate events, 26 con­ference and meeting rooms at the Stirling Court Hotel, and exclusive use of the Iris Murdoch conference suite. An additional 2000 bedrooms are also available every night throughout the summer.

Set within the stunning 330 acre grounds of the University of Stirling, the portfolio also boasts an 18th century castle, golf course, several beautiful lochs and the home of Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence.

Liam Spillane, Director of Commercial Services which manages Stirling Venues on behalf of the university, said: “We have it all here in terms of our location, which is stunning at every time of year.

“Whether you’re organising an event for 2,000 people, looking for accommoda­tion for a price-conscious group of 20, or a romantic secret getaway for two, we cater for all.

“The launch of our new consolidated Stirling Venues brand this summer has led to a better understanding of what is avail­able in one place.

“For example, in addition to our confer­ence, events and accommodation facili­ties, our guests can enjoy the world class facilities of Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence including the Scot­tish Tennis Centre, Swimming Academy with Olympic-length pool and the latest sports science testing equipment to name but a few.”

No stranger to Hollywood A-listers and movie premiers, Stirling Venues can also welcome delegates to the Macrobert Arts Centre with its main theatre auditorium seating up to 468 people.

Renaming the former Stirling Manage­ment Centre in its portfolio to the Stirling Court Hotel last November has also pro­vided a clearer focus of the range of facili­ties the on-site 100 bedroom hotel offers.

Liam explained: “By bringing the word ‘hotel’ into use it has opened new doors to business, both corporate and leisure. “It was a very simple transition to improve our representation within the hotel sector.”

The Stirling Court Hotel’s prestigious reputation as a highly commended and award-winning centre for excellence in conference management is well earned. The hotel has been host to major regional, national and international events, from the World Youth Congress to the Micro­soft Challenge and the European Maccabi Games.

Liam added: “We have a unique collec­tion of facilities here at Stirling Venues and our guests can cherry pick how they want to use them. Crucially, whatever our clients need we can work together to make the whole thing more affordable because we benefit from economies of scale.”

A driving force for the Stirling Venues team is that all commercial revenue is reinvested back into the university.

With more than 20 years’ experience working in the hospitality sector nation­ally and internationally, Liam said that giving businesses the opportunity to invest their spend into the university in the safe knowledge their money is making a true impact in Scottish society and the imme­diate economy was of growing importance.

“We recently had a team of airline executives stage their conference here,” he explained.

“We were able to offer the facilities for them to stay over, eat, relax and accom­modate their conference needs and team building activities, all with the important value that the money they were spending was being reinvested into an education facility and the student experience.

“It is a key focus for us that any surplus generated from commercial activity is reinvested in the university for this and future generations.”

While location proves a big pull, the depth of knowledge and experience in the staff team give Stirling Venues a further advantage.

Liam commented: “I feel very privi­leged that I’ve got such an extensively experienced and committed team.

“There’s a very happy mix between team members that have a lot of university experience and people that have a lot of hotel experience. By combining these skillsets together under the one Stirling Venues brand we have a very customer-focused attitude with exceptional product knowledge.”