The Priory Rooms news site_dscpn Mon, 03 Aug 2015 19:47:00 +0100 Putting You In The Spotlight! Mon, 03 Aug 2015 19:47:00 +0100 The Priory Rooms are installing a £20,000 lighting refurbishment in the Main Meeting House this August. It will make the large, unique, city centre conference space even more A-Main-Zing! Enjoy superb atmosphere and flexibility in the stunning 1930’s venue. The spotlight will shine brightly on your event and guests will leave feeling illuminated.

Book now for our extraordinary special offer price!

TPR-Main-Cabaret-1.jpgThe state-of-the-art lighting upgrades will showcase the Main Meeting House perfectly for your large conferences. It will also complement the £20,000 Audio Visual upgrade put in place last year. The room, which seats 200 people theatre style, had installed a new two speaker PA system, choice of microphones and a high-spec projector and screen. Each of these are controlled by a dedicated iPad, so facilitators can co-ordinate the entire event at a touch of a button. An impressive stage area was also built which transformed the room into a show-stopping venue!

The new lighting system will be added to the iPad to create bespoke event mood lighting. Organisers can set bright welcoming lights as delegates take their seats. Close the black out blinds during the projector presentations. Switch on the stage spotlights to focus on key speakers. Then finish with the up-lights beaming on the beautiful high ceilings for a striking visual. The Main Meeting House will definitely put you in the spotlight!

A-Main-Zing Special Offer Now Available!

a_TPR-Main-Theatre-41.jpg To celebrate the Main Meeting House's refurbishment we are offering a 19.33% discount marking the year it was first opened.

Book your next event in the Main Meeting House before December 2015 to receive 19.33% discount off any date in 2015 and 2016!

Call our Bookings Team on 0121 236 2317.

Further information and pictures of the Main Meeting House are available here

Have a “Hoot” in Birmingham! Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:31:00 +0100 Be “wise owls” and explore Birmingham’s The Big Hoot Trail when you visit The Priory Rooms this summer. Take your colleagues out for a “flight” around the city centre on your lunch break and “ruffle their feathers” with this unusual team-building challenge. The innovative art project of giant owls has “landed” right by The Priory Rooms.

have-a-hoot.jpg So we are offering delicious packed lunches for your team to take away and discover the collection on their break.

The Priory Rooms will also donate £20 to Birmingham Children’s Hospital on your behalf!

Fun, unique and interactive, the Trail is a real “hoot”!

Wild in Art, has “swooped” in 89 colourful giant owls in Birmingham city centre and beyond for The Big Hoot Trail. Each has been beautifully decorated by artists; individually designed to showcase the varied and vibrant culture of Birmingham. A Trail map has been created, which alongside The Big Hoot App enables you to discover the owls, scan the QR code at each location and release special offers.

The Big Hoot Trail is the perfect team-building exercise whilst you are using The Priory Rooms meeting and conference rooms. We are providing guests with Trail maps and packed lunches for a “hooting” time. Enjoy an extended break from the boardroom with a map and delicious packed lunch for only £6+vat per person. Take in the city’s culture and atmosphere by eating lunch in one of the many beautiful public realms, such as Victoria Square and St Philips Cathedral. And don’t forget to take an “owlie” with the ones you come across to show The Priory Rooms team on your return. We can’t wait to see your best pose and find out how many you discovered!

The Big Hoot Trail is being displayed all summer. On the 15th October the owls will be sold at auction to raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Auction day will soon be here, so don’t delay, book your packed lunch for next time you visit The Priory Rooms! You can download The Big Hoot App for free on the App Store and Google Play. Trail maps are available in our Atrium area. Remember to upload your pictures to the twitter page @thebighoot using the #thebighoot2015 and include @theprioryrooms.

The Priory Rooms wish Birmingham Children’s Hospital a very successful fundraiser. We look forward to hearing about our guests having a “hoot in Birmingham” on the trail.

Packed lunches are available by pre-ordering with the Conference Team. For £6+vat you will receive a sandwich, crisps, fruit, cake and drink. Minimum of 5 packed lunches to be ordered in conjunction with room hire. For further information about The Big Hoot Trail visit

Drop in, Pick Up and Grow! Mon, 27 Jul 2015 10:30:00 +0100 The Peace Hub have announced their summer campaign is "Grub's Up! Making our Food Sustainable"; welcoming the public to pop in, grab a cuppa and find out how they can get involved. For the young green-fingered visitors there are free-seed planting activities all through the summer holidays!

Peacehub_grow.pngThe Peace Hub are campaigning that factory-farming is damaging the environment, increasing inequality and harming animals. Instead, by supporting small-scale, sustainable farming, there can be fair and affordable food for everyone.

Bring your young ones to the Peace Hub, on Bull Street, Birmingham city centre between 11am and 2.30pm throughout the summer holidays. They can learn about Grub's Up whilst playing the "count your chickens" game, they can write to your MP asking them to support a sustainable approach to food and they can take part in the seed-planting activities.

Children will get the chance to learn about where food comes from, and take home what they plant to watch it grow (while you enjoy a cuppa & a chat!) This simple activity doesn’t take long, so it’s an ideal way to take a break in the middle of a city centre shopping trip and keep the kids entertained at the same time.

Follow the Peace Hub's campaigns on their website

Staff HIT the NVQ Road Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:30:00 +0100 The Priory Rooms' Ann-Louise Rowlands, Conference Support Executive, and Tom Bennett, Hospitality Assistant, are about to start their NVQ journey with Hospitality Industry Training (HIT). As they "hit" the NVQ road, both are excited to enhance their skills and apply them to their roles at The Priory Rooms.

Ann-Louise is taking a Level 3 in Management, and Tom a Level 2 in Customer Service. Both have worked with The Priory Rooms for several years, progressing their careers along the way.

They were offered the NVQ courses by The Priory Rooms Centre Manager Andrew Callan, who during his six years in position has provided numerous training courses for staff. Andrew has seen substantial benefits for enabling the team to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence. Andrew felt the NVQs with HIT were an ideal opportunity for Ann-Louise and Tom to gain a credible industry qualification whilst applying the experience practically to the business.

HIT_Logo.jpgHIT is the leading specialist training provider for the UK's hospitality industry. Ann-Louise and Tom will work with HIT trainer-assessors, who bring local knowledge, valuable practical experience and an understanding of what learners need to forge life-enhancing skills. You can follow Ann-Louise and Tom on their NVQ journey with our regular updates!

Start Your Journey with HIT Training

Accessing The Right Answers Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:12:00 +0100 The Priory Rooms partnered with their sister venues, from across the country, to hold an interactive and informative workshop by Disability Rights UK focusing on hospitality venues.


Staff from The Priory Rooms, Manchester Friends Meeting House and Woodbrooke Conference Centre attended a one-day course at Woodbrooke to understand best practice of the Equality Act 2010.

In attendance from The Priory Rooms were Premises Manager Dragan Obrenovic, Conference Support Executive Ann-Louise Rowlands, Hospitality Assistant Tom Bennett and Directors Jim Green and Sue Thompson. Each brought a unique perspective to the course and left with tips and advice on practical resolutions and invaluable customer service provisions.

The course was delivered by Mark Shrimpton from Disability Rights UK. Mark works at expert level in community care and discrimination law. Mark was an advisor and former Chair to the national voluntary organisation Assist UK and is currently a Trustee of CHANGE the charity of and for people with a learning disability. Mark also sits on the First-tier tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber, he is a judge for the National Diversity Awards, and the Excellence in Diversity Awards and he is a Director of Disability Solutions Worldwide.

Dragan complimented Mark's workshop, "Mark really cared that he opened our eyes to the barriers to access around a building. I left with a detailed understanding of how a building should function in order for everyone to feel welcome and at ease."

Find Your Answers with Disability Rights UK

Making Enterprising Headlines Tue, 21 Jul 2015 18:56:00 +0100 This July The Priory Rooms hosted the John Taylor Hospice media workshop "Social Enterprise; Be the News". The event was a complete success story with guests leaving motivated and inspired.

Enterprising-Headlines.jpgThe free workshop was organised by John Taylor Hospice, a leading social enterprise in the West Midlands, in conjunction with Social Enterprise West Midlands. Both wanted to support other social enterprises to gain greater media exposure. The Priory Rooms, a third sector business, provided the ideal city centre location for the session.

The workshop began with networking; fully-booked it offered a great opportunity to build contacts with like-minded organisations. A thought-provoking and engaging presentation was then delivered by key speaker Alun Thorne, PR Director at Barques. Alun spoke about the multitude of mediums available for businesses to advertise through and the power of an engaging press release. Questions were answered by the expert panel, Anthony Tattum, Managing Director of Big Cat Group, Sally Edwards, Founder of Spot on Marketing Communications, and Ravinol Chambers, Founder of Be Inspired Films. Each shared their top tips and listened to attendees own experiences. Guests gave high praise to the speakers, complimented for being engaging and creating an enterprising attitude to maximising media exposure.

Diane Parks, Head of Brand and Media for The John Taylor Hospice, who organised the workshop commented, "We love to share stories about how we make every moment matter for everyone we care for. We understand the value of media in helping us share those stories across Birmingham and beyond. We know that so many other social enterprises also have great stores, but struggle with the best way to tell them. Our aim with the event was to give them a few pointers with the help of a panel of experts. It was a really enjoyable and insightful afternoon which brought real value to social enterprises in and around Birmingham."

Follow John Taylor Hospice's News and Events

The Priory Rooms Unravel A Big Donation! Fri, 17 Jul 2015 10:46:00 +0100 The Priory Rooms Meeting & Conference Centre wrapped up a successful "Big Bandage" fundraising week for the Birmingham Children's Hospital by unravelling an incredible £2,000 donation!

bigbandage2015BB.jpg The Birmingham Children's Hospital's "Big Bandage" campaign encouraged everyone to show their support by wearing a bandage with pride and donating to the charity. The Priory Rooms, based in Birmingham city centre, were delighted to take part for the third consecutive year! Once again they were supported by Just Good Food their long-standing catering suppliers, and Balfour Beatty contractors who are working on the Midland Metro extension in Birmingham. The Priory Rooms’ conference room users donated generously throughout the week and many purchased the freshly-prepared cakes donated by Just Good Food.

The very kind-hearted Balfour Beatty Metro team, staff and operatives all dug deep and donated an exceptional amount. The Priory Rooms would especially like to thank Lisa Zdravkovic, J.A Rattigan & Son Ltd, Workforce Civils Ltd, PIER UK Ltd, Highway Traffic Management Ltd, Planacre, Central Tipper Hire and Fortel for their generosity.

All of the money raised will go to Birmingham Children's Hospital's Magnolia House Appeal; a facility where families can come together for support and peace. The Priory Rooms' Centre Manager Andrew Callan praised the successful week, "As the Children's Hospital are regular customers of The Priory Rooms, the staff and I always delighted to get involved with the Big Bandage campaign. We know first-hand the outstanding support the staff provide children and are thrilled at how much money has been raised! We would like to thank everyone who donated!"

Details of how to fundraise for Birmingham Children's Hospital are available on their For further information about The Priory Rooms Meeting & Conference Centre call 0121 236 2317 or visit the website

Meet…The King Of Coffee! Mon, 22 Jun 2015 19:06:00 +0100 Book your next meeting or conference at The Priory Rooms to enjoy the delicious King of Coffee we serve!

TPR-Lobby-3.jpgOur Pareto Filter Coffee from Brazilian and Tanzanian beans not only tastes great, but suppliers Kingdom Coffee are one of the most ethical coffee providers on the market. And that is why we think it is the royalty of coffee!

We have used Kingdom Coffee for our coffee beans, teabags and biscuits since 2010 after being introduced to them at the annual Quaker Centre Gathering. As a Fairtrade business Kingdom Coffee continuously strive to source quality products from ethical sources. Through their sales they are able to redistribute the wealth to the communities they source their coffee from. Working with their charitable partners they ensure that communities from coffee growing regions, especially children, benefit from investment in social and welfare projects.

Kingdom-Coffee.jpgThe Priory Rooms were delighted to hear that in 2014 Kingdom Coffee achieved the ISO Quality Standard and Environment Standard. Both ensure that they achieve and continuously improve upon their high standards of working practice.

They have also just announced they have teamed up again with their charity partner Toybox to deliver their most ambitious project yet. They will be supporting 100 children with food and outreach worker support in Guatemala, an area the Telegraph described as "one of the worst places in the world to be a child."

The Priory Rooms are proud to say they serve The King of Coffee; great tasting, ethically sourced and life-changing! Discover Kingdom Coffee

Award Winning Group! Thu, 18 Jun 2015 19:15:00 +0100 The Priory Rooms congratulate their sister venues Woodbrooke and Friends House for both recently achieving incredible awards. Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham has received the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and Friends House in London have been named Carbon Champions for Camden.

These awards recognise their commitment to outstanding customer service and socially responsible behaviour. All of the sister venues prioritise these values and are incredibly proud of each other’s success.

thelight_floor.jpgWoodbrooke Quaker Study Centre have been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. The centre based in Selly Oak, Birmingham will run over 150 courses and retreats throughout 2015. Its historic building is surrounded by 10 acres of organically managed gardens, offering a beautiful and inspiring location for adult learners. Their Trip Advisor award is recognition of the quality, quantity and recency of opinions submitted by travellers on Trip Advisor over a 12-month period; testament to the hard work of the staff and volunteers.

Friends House have been declared Carbon Champions in Camden by Camden Climate Change Alliance. The award is recognition of their enduring efforts not only to reduce their own impact on the environment but also to influence and support the local and wider community in living and working more sustainably. Since 2009 Friends House has reduced its total emissions by 22% and is working to continue these reductions. The award comes just after their unique venue space “The Light” won a Regional Royal Institute of British Architects Award. The Light is a magnificent refurbishment of the Quaker Meeting House's Main Hall. It features a breath-taking skylight over the 1,000 seater contemporary space and careful eco-conscious design; it embraces efficiency in its lighting, insulation and temperature control.

The Priory Rooms were delighted to announce recently that they had successfully completed The Venue Standard assessment; achieving high praise for their facilities and customer service. Top marks were given for the quality of their rooms, the equipment provided, catering service and overall customer experience. The Priory Rooms are proud to be part of an award winning group of venues, each one ideal for your meetings across the country.

Watch Out For Beth & Hannah! Tue, 16 Jun 2015 19:52:00 +0100 Watch out for Beth and Hannah in Social Enterprise West Midlands' round-up video of their "Social Value in Construction" conference.

SEWM_exhibition.JPGSocial Enterprise West Midlands held the conference at the University of Wolverhampton in May. It was one of several events they hold throughout the year to promote local social enterprises and third sector businesses.

The Priory Rooms' Conference Co-ordinator Hannah Baynes and Business Development Manager Beth Sadler exhibited at the conference, and you will probably spot them several times in the video!

Throughout the conference Beth and Hannah showcased how using a third sector conference venue, like The Priory Rooms, is a great way of meeting your business' corporate social responsibility.

The conference was attended by over 160 delegates. It brought together businesses, social enterprises and charities to discuss improving social value within the construction industry.

The round-up video gives a great overview of the event and the outcomes achieved. You can see the fun Beth and Hannah had making new contacts and promoting The Priory Rooms, plus the key speakers presenting and the great feedback from delegates.

Watch out for Beth and Hannah