The Priory Rooms news site_dscpn Fri, 13 May 2016 16:19:00 +0100 Conferencing with a conscience! Fri, 13 May 2016 16:19:00 +0100 Have you thought about how sustainable your next conference or meeting will be?

Top of the agenda for many organisations at the moment is Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR), included within this is sustainability. Here at The Priory Rooms meeting and conference centre we've developed our "Conferencing with a conscience" initiative which is geared at ensuring our customers both existing and potential get a really strong understanding and overview of how we operate, which in turn can compliment good practice when it comes to choosing a sustainable venue and more importantly compliment their CSR policy.

We actively continue to build on our position in sustainable conference and meetings, we lead the way as one of Birmingham's most sustainable conference venues and just by taking a few simple steps we've managed to achieve BIG things:

  • Commitment to waste reduction - reducing the amount of waste that enters landfill by working with First Mile recycling and achieving Gold status for our efforts in the introduction of processes to improve our food recycling procedures.

  • Reduction in energy consumption - we actively encourage better efficiency in energy consumption. All lighting is censored around our building and all of our electronic equipment is developed with power saving mode. We also have a strong "switch it off policy" to ensure when anything is not in use it is not powered. We also invested £35,000 to install new glass in our atrium to become more energy efficient.

  • Rain water harvesting - We have invested significantly in technology to harvest the rain water by installing state of the art equipment on the roof of the building. This rain water is then filtered and recycled to provide the water used to flush the ladies lavatories within the venue, this cuts our water consumption significantly and last year we achieved a reduction of 25% in consumption.

  • Fair trade - living true to our Quaker ethos we only use Fair Trade tea and have partnered with Kingdom Coffee to provide our refreshments in the venue. We're therefore confident from bean to cup coffee and tea growers globally are rewarded and paid fairly and equally for the work they do.

  • Sustainable sourcing and suppliers - we actively work with suppliers who instill the same vision and values we have on sustainability. This extends to our food as well, ensuring we source locally to reduce the amount of miles food is travelling to reach the venue as well as supporting social enterprise, start up and small to medium enterprises in our local community.

  • Recycling - we purchase plastics that are 100% biodegradable, they are made from plant starch with can be recycled back into compost.

  • Location - due to our central location we are walking distance from Birmingham's three main transport hubs New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street. Our Conference Sales Team actively encourage customers at the point of booking to travel to the venue by train thus reducing their carbon footprint.

Commenting on our initiative our Business Development Manager Mark McCloskey added:

"Sustainability is very much a hot potato in the industry and among many meeting planners. It is of significant benefit to our customers and equally our venue that so many of our initiatives ticks the box in complimenting many organisations CSR policy. I truly believe that our conferencing with a conscience initiative is extremely unique in the market place and more importantly in Birmingham. These simple steps really give us a point of difference against other venues in the city and something we can really use as a unique selling point when engaging with our customers."

These simple steps really go a long way in ensuring that when you book your next meeting or conference with The Priory Rooms that you're contributing not only to the environment but also to further enrich the lives of others in the local community but also further a field.

Contact our dedicated Meeting and Conference team today on 0121 236 2317 or

Opening The Doors To Our Heritage 2016 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 19:02:00 +0100 Bull Street Quaker Meeting House is once again taking part in Heritage Open Days on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September from 1.00pm-5.00pm. You are invited to come through the doors and discover the history!

TPR-Heritagepng.jpg Bull Street Quaker Meeting is part of Central England Quakers who own The Priory Rooms, also located at the same building. This September they warmly welcome you to explore the Meeting House during the Heritage Open Days. Heritage Open Days is a nationwide event opening the doors of sites that are not normally open for the public. Bull Street Quakers are delighted to take part, for the public to learn more about Quaker convictions, beliefs and practices past and present. Refreshments are also available on both afternoons.

The current Bull Street Quaker Meeting House was built in 1933 on a city centre site occupied by Quakers since 1702 with many of the old gravestones retained. Throughout the two Heritage Open Days volunteers from the Bull Street Quaker Meeting will provide informative show-rounds, illustrate Quaker history, introduce modern practices, share their memories of the building and answer any questions.

Heritage Open Days was established by the Civic Trust (no longer in operation) in 1994 as England's contribution to the European Heritage Days. It began with 700 sites, that are not normally open for the public, being opened free of charge in September for four consecutive days.

The event is now managed by Heritage Open Days National Partnership, participation has now doubled and the list of sites being opened more wonderful and varied each year. It celebrates the historical venues and attractions within local districts that make these areas unique and participants aim to encourage discovery and a sense of pride to bring communities together.

Come through the doors to meet our heritage!

Heritage Open Days

Welcome to our new Business Development Manager Mon, 18 Apr 2016 18:44:00 +0100 We are extremely delighted to welcome Mark McCloskey to The Priory Rooms as our new Business Development Manager.

Mark-McCloskey.jpg Mark has recently joined us following his role as Account Manager at leading UK travel and event management company Capita Travel and Events. Mark’s role will oversee the management of The Priory Rooms marketing activities as well as being responsible for developing new business and maintaining and nurturing relationships with existing customers.

Mark brings with him a wealth of experience in the industry and we are delighted to welcome him to his new role with us.

Budding New Supervisor Fri, 26 Feb 2016 11:57:00 +0000 Congratulations to our team member Tom Bennett who is budding with enthusiasm in his promotion as Hospitality Supervisor.

Tom-Bennett.jpgTom will be ensuring our hospitality team bring you excellent service and quality catering throughout your event. From our wide-range of refreshments, snacks and seasonal buffets, Tom will make sure everything meets your expectations! Tom brings experience, enthusiasm and fresh ideas to the role. He is also studying a Level 2 NVQ in Customer Service with HIT Training, providing him with valuable practical advice and skills.

The Priory Rooms Conference Centre Manager Andrew Callan praised Tom's promotion, "Tom is a hard-working and dedicated member of the team, we are delighted to progress his career. His great attitude, customer service and attention to detail makes him a fantastic Hospitality Supervisor. Tom will go above and beyond to ensure outstanding service is delivered to each one of our customers."

Meet all of our team

Projects Flourish With £75,000 Donation Mon, 22 Feb 2016 11:48:00 +0000 Thank you to all of our new and long standing customers who booked meeting rooms last year. You have enabled us to donate over £75,000 to Central England Quakers for their outstanding projects to flourish further in 2016!

Projects_Flourish.jpgSeveral of the projects are based in Birmingham, including educating and empowering children in nearby schools and working within communities to establish peaceful relations and improve sustainability. Each year they are becoming more and more successful, with 2015 no exception.

Peacemakers expanded their team to deliver training in a record number of schools, supporting around 1,000 children to be peacemakers and peer mediators and 300 adults who work with them. Their first publication "Learning for Peace" will be launched on the 20th April.

Northfield Eco-centre launched a new education workshop for primary schools and provided even more services to organisations on how to save energy and operate more sustainably. The annual Urban Harvest project rescued 3 tonnes of fruit from Birmingham gardens going to waste and either redistributed it to local charities or bottled it as juice.

The Peace Hub highlighted a whole range of peace and justice themes; supported Fairtrade, remembered the courage and conviction of conscientious objectors, were proud to be a place of welcome for refugees and asylum seekers, promoted the importance of sustainable food, called for a more economically equal society and helped to bring faith groups together in support of a Low Carbon Future.

The Hope Project worked in Western Uganda. They acquired land for the Ibanda Literacy Schools for a new nursery school, with the parents providing materials and helping erect two brick classrooms. Supported the Rwesande Community Centre training unemployed girls in dressmaking and hairdressing. And with the Rwenzori Peace Bridge of Reconciliation they launched a drive for non-violent elections in 2016, the culmination of a 3 year programme to reduce the levels of violence in the District.

Discover the projects your bookings support

Think Venue Board Member Opportunity Thu, 07 Jan 2016 19:41:00 +0000 Are you an outside the box thinker with some spare time to volunteer?

Think-Venue.jpg Think Venue are looking for board members to add strength to the current board and bring new ideas to the table to manage and promote our services.

The board meets every 6 weeks to work on group actions. Each board member does take responsibility for actions from meeting to meeting, so it is a hands on role.

We were established in 2010 and have a growing membership of diverse venues provided by charities, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and other not for profit groups from across the Midlands. Think Venue is a member of Social Enterprise UK and is a not for profit organisation. We offer a free venue finding website which will help to find the right conference venue or meeting room for any event.

Previous experience within the voluntary sector and conferencing is preferred but not essential.

If you think you have something to offer Think Venue then please email the Chairman Andrew Callan with an expression of interest and what skills you believe that you can bring to the board. You can also contact Andrew Callan on 0121 236 2317 with any questions about the role.

Christmas Greetings Fri, 18 Dec 2015 11:17:00 +0000 Priory Rooms' Director Wendy Burnett, also a member of Central England Quakers (CEQ) sends Christmas Greetings and wishes for a Peaceful New Year to The Priory Rooms customers, staff and associates on behalf of the Board.

Christmas-2015.jpg"The Priory Rooms have enjoyed an exciting and busy 2015 and we have welcomed existing and new clients over the year. This year we completed an eighteen-month refurbishment programme which included a new highly-efficient air conditioning unit, outstanding new lighting facilities in the Main Meeting House and the installation of fibre optic wi-fi throughout the venue. We were also delighted with the launch of the Midland Metro extension which stops right outside the venue. In the New Year the completed project will provide our customers with a quick and easy route from New Street Station through the city centre to our doorstep.

At the beginning of 2015, The Priory Rooms were able to gift over £40,000 to CEQ for projects which include West Midlands Peacemakers, Northfield Ecocentre, The Peace Hub and Hope Project. These have grown tremendously this year, expanding their work and outreach, to deliver a wide range of services. I would like to thank all of The Priory Rooms' customers for choosing our venue and supporting the invaluable work of each of these projects.

We have had some lovely feedback on your experience. at The Priory Rooms which is much appreciated. On behalf of the Directors we thank Andrew Callan, The Priory Rooms Manager, and all of the staff for their hard work and dedication over the past 12 months. The excellent service provided to customers could not happen without them!

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year and look forward to seeing you again in 2016." Discover the CEQ charities

Frozen Hospital Warms Children and Families This Christmas Mon, 14 Dec 2015 11:13:00 +0000 This Christmas Birmingham Children's Hospital has been transformed into a festive Frozen winter wonderland by volunteers from local businesses. The Priory Rooms took part by decorating the Renal Ward waiting area to help spread festive cheer to patients, their families and staff.

Frozen-Birmingham-Childrens-Hospital.jpgThe Priory Rooms would like to THANK everyone who donated generously to the fundraiser and enabled them to purchase a wlarge selection of Frozen themed Christmas decorations. After a few hours volunteering they sprinkled the festive feeling across the waiting area.

The Priory Rooms were delighted to take part in the project alongside 41 other businesses who donated and decorated too. Together everyone turned over 50 different areas within the Hospital festively Frozen. Characters, quotes and games from the popular film now appear all throughout for everyone young, and old, to "Let It Go"!

The Priory Rooms not only decorated the Renal Ward waiting area, but because so much money was fundraised we were able to donate £210 to the charity.

Happy Christmas to the Patients, Families, and Staff of Birmingham Children's Hospital!

Film Club Screen Festive Classic Fri, 11 Dec 2015 11:09:00 +0000 The Priory Rooms' 1930's Main Meeting House hosted the Colmore Business District Film Club screening of Tim Burton's Christmas Spectacular "A Nightmare Before Christmas"

Film-Club.jpgMembers of the Film Club arrived to a festive scene at The Priory Rooms. They were served Christmas inspired canapes including Turkey, Chestnut and Bacon Roulades alongside Mushroom and Stilton Wellingtons, For dessert there were Mini Chocolate Yule Logs and Cranberry Mince Pies.

The screening was enjoyed by over 50 film fans who laughed throughout the classic Christmas musical of Jack and Halloween Town stealing the festive holiday. The most magical moment was when the Colmore Business District Choir, amateur singers from businesses within the District, sang along with the film. The crowd applauded in delight at their excellent performance. The show ended with a joyful cheer as everyone had enjoyed a great evening. Many then took advantage of The Priory Rooms' city centre location and walked to the Frankfurt German Market to browse the craft stalls.

The Priory Rooms were delighted to host the Film Club who use unique venues within Birmingham city centre to show classic films.

Join the Colmore Business District Film Club contact

Beth Gives Uprisers Networking Tips Mon, 07 Dec 2015 11:04:00 +0000 The Priory Rooms' Business Development Manager Beth Sadler recently enjoyed volunteering as a mentor for local charity UpRising. Beth delivered an evening workshop on Networking Tips to 40 young people who are enrolled on the Leadership Programme.

Beth-Uprising.jpgThe programme takes 18-25 year olds on a 9 month journey discovering first-hand the ways political, business, public and third sectors shape communities. As it involves "access behind the scenes" sessions Beth was asked to deliver a workshop on networking effectively and building relationships. The group's enthusiasm was infectious and Beth thoroughly enjoyed working with them on activities, answering questions and having lots of fun throughout.

The Birmingham Programme's Co-ordinator Mikayla Jones commented, "There were some great conversations happening during the evening. The skills session gave them such practical advice, breaking the barrier that networking is too scary." Become an UpRiser and Start a Social Action Campaign