The Priory Rooms news site_dscpn Mon, 22 Jun 2015 19:06:00 +0100 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

Priory Rooms Unravel Big Bandage Fundraiser Fri, 12 Jun 2015 17:45:00 +0100 The Priory Rooms Meeting and Conference Centre are proud to be once again supporting The Big Bandage; Birmingham Children's Hospital’s annual fundraising event. On Friday 10th July the Children’s Hospital encourages you to show your support by wearing a bandage with pride and donating to the charity. The Priory Rooms are getting involved by holding a week of fundraising; hoping to beat last year’s donation and raise greater awareness of the local charity.

Big-Bandage-Fundraiser.jpgFor 2015 the Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Big Bandage is raising money for their Magnolia House Appeal. Magnolia House will be a facility within the Hospital grounds where families can compose themselves and come together for support and peace. The Priory Rooms are delighted to support the Children’s Hospital for the third consecutive year. From Monday 6th July the team will be holding a week of fundraising; selling and wearing customised bandages, asking for donations, and selling freshly-prepared cakes. All visitors to the conference centre will be encouraged to get involved by wrapping up in bandages and donating. It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to show their support for the Hospital's brave children, their families and the wonderful staff.

The Priory Rooms are thrilled to once again have their fundraiser supported by Just Good Food their long-standing catering suppliers and Balfour Beatty contractors who are working on the Midland Metro extension in Birmingham city centre. Just Good Food are providing the freshly-prepared cakes for sale and Balfour Beatty Metro team, staff and operatives are digging deep to top up the donation.

As the Children's Hospital are regular customers of The Priory Rooms, staff are delighted to be fundraising again for the charity; knowing first-hand the outstanding support they provide children. Last year The Priory Rooms fundraised £310, fingers crossed this year will be even more successful!

Get involved with the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Big Bandage through their website For further information about The Priory Rooms Meeting & Conference Centre call 0121 236 2317.

Andrew Treasures Eco-Centre Thu, 11 Jun 2015 20:01:00 +0100 The Priory Rooms' Conference Centre Manager Andrew Callan is now volunteer Assistant Treasurer for Central England Quakers' project Northfield Eco-centre.

Andrew-Callan-TPR-Eco-Cenre.jpgAndrew has always highly regarded the Eco-centre which offers the local community practical and inspiring ideas on how to green up your life-style, home or business whatever the size or budget.

He now joins the other volunteers of the Management Committee to support the development of the Eco-centre's projects and expand its partnerships across the Midlands.

Since becoming The Priory Rooms' Centre Manager in 2009 Andrew has enjoyed watching the Eco-centre grow its resources, projects and services. Andrew commented "The Eco-centre is a valuable asset to the local community; showing that being eco-conscious is practical and fun for people of all ages and backgrounds."

Over the past 5 years Andrew has implemented many environmentally-friendly policies within The Priory Rooms. Inspired by the Quaker commitment to being eco-conscious and the achievements of the Eco-centre, The Priory Rooms look at all business decisions from a "green" perspective.

Andrew joins the Eco-centre's Management Committee at an exciting time as new manager Michael Addison started in March. Michael brings fresh ideas to expand the Eco-centre's impact further afield and possibly start a social enterprise. Andrew added "All of the Committee look forward to helping Michael and his hard-working team achieve the exciting ideas they have in the pipeline."

Join a Northfield Eco-centre Project

Lighting Up London Fri, 29 May 2015 14:00:00 +0100 Congratulations to Friends House London for winning a Regional RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Award for their stunning new conference venue The Light.

Sound-Space-Design-Friends-House-Euston-Cabaret-Setting.jpgFriends House London, sister venue of The Priory Rooms, launched The Light in autumn 2014. Since then interest and admiration of the space has not stopped. Event bookers are mesmerised by its beauty, flexibility and ideal location. Outstanding compliments by visitors have now been echoed by this prestigious award from the RIBA.

Unique in its build The Light has over 200m squared of floor space flooded with natural daylight. The Light is a magnificent refurbishment of the Quaker Meeting House's Main Hall; transformed into a truly inspiring venue for large conferences. It was named The Light to reflect the breath-taking skylight over the 1,000 seater contemporary space. Designed with care for the environment, The Light embraces efficiency in its lighting, insulation and temperature control.

RIBA-Award-2015-Paul-Grey.jpgThe Light's exceptional architecture was presented a regional award by the RIBA at a ceremony held at the National Theatre this May. Paul Grey (pictured), who is Head of Facilities for Friends House, said "We are delighted to have been recognised by the RIBA. The Light is truly an amazing conference and events venue."

See the impressive venue by taking the virtual tour of The Light For enquiries email Friends House London at or call 020 7663 1100.

Venue Assessors Praise Priory Rooms Wed, 27 May 2015 19:26:00 +0100 The Priory Rooms have successfully completed The Venue Standard assessment achieving high praise for facilities and customer experience. Launched last year The Venue Standard provides meetings and event buyers with a clear indication of the quality of both product and service offered by venues.

Meet-the-Metro.jpgThe Priory Rooms were delighted to receive exceptional feedback from the assessment. Top marks were given for the quality of their rooms, the equipment provided, catering service and overall customer experience. It commended the hard-working team for delivering “very good hospitality” and being “friendly and welcoming.”

The Venue Standard, which has been created by Excellence Squared, was benchmarked late last year across a range of venues across the UK, including The Priory Rooms. Gary Swarbrooke from The Venue Standard explained why the new assessment has been introduced to the market. “Demonstration of quality is the key to success within the modern meetings and events industry. Our plan includes the establishment of The Venue Standard as the first global assessment, ensuring fair comparison of venues by event buyers researching and planning events in a wide variety of different locations around the world.”

The assessment is carried out by staff experienced in certifying businesses for Investors in People, The Matrix Standard and a multitude of ISO standards. They examined The Priory Rooms on the four key areas; customer feedback, administration, the quality of product and service delivery.

The Priory Rooms were thrilled to receive a glowing report, with Gary Swarbrooke commenting on;

“Evidence of a well-trained and knowledgeable team who are able to support the equipment on site and ensure the smooth operation for clients.”

“A team able to anticipate problems before they arise and enabling expedient solutions to be found.”

“A good selection of beverages and good quality biscuits, snacking items, fruit and also dietary options offered.”

“Rooms are set up to a very good quality, attention to detail in the set-up of rooms. Pads, pens, delegate cards and sweets provided, plus a well-stocked conference stationery box.”

“The food was good quality, looked substantial and a good overall imaginative choice.”

“Very good feedback from the customer service forms regarding the team.”

The Priory Rooms was one of the first venues to undertake The Venue Standard. Business Development Manager Beth Sadler commented: “The assessment was an opportunity to consider the successful practice of our administration, service, products and customer feedback processes, and have them benchmarked against competitors. Most importantly, The Venue Standard rigorously questioned our practices and procedures from the customers’ perspective. The final result - a customer-orientated, well-rounded judgement of the venue which has helped set us apart in an increasingly crowded market. In particular it demonstrates that we take being compliant and consistent seriously, that investment and improvement is crucial and above all the customers’ expectations will be met. We are very happy to be one of the first to join The Venue Standard.”

The Priory Rooms team are delighted by the praise as they are dedicated to delivering excellent quality conference facilities and continuously strive to improve. Well done to all of the staff!

Priory Rooms Goes for Green Award Mon, 25 May 2015 16:50:00 +0100 The Priory Rooms have entered Birmingham City Council’s Making Birmingham Greener & Healthier Awards for 2015. A fantastic opportunity for the eco-conscious city centre venue to have their efforts as “green” champions for Birmingham rewarded!

Priory-Rooms-Goes-for-Green-Award.jpg The Priory Rooms are committed to being a “green” meetings and conference centre, putting in place commendable initiatives to increase recycling, reduce waste, reuse products and be sustainable.

The Priory Rooms, owned by Central England Quakers, began prioritising eco-conscious policies when Quakers in Britain made the 2011 declaration to become a low-carbon, sustainable community. Since then The Priory Rooms’ manager Andrew Callan has implemented a consistent and wide-reaching “green” policy towards all business procedures.

Proud of what they have achieved, The Priory Rooms have entered the awards category “Best Waste & Recycling Scheme”. Birmingham City Council, in partnership with environmental company Veolia, encourage other organisations to enter the four awards categories; Best Energy Efficiency Scheme; Best Waste & Recycling Scheme; Best Greener & Healthier Lifestyles (Food) Scheme; and Birmingham Connected Sustainable Travel Award. Each category will also have a sub-category for business, community and education establishment entries.

The Priory Rooms’ application proudly provides evidence of green policies including; a commitment to recycling and using recycled products, using local suppliers, food waste composting, biodegradable doggy boxes, rain water harvesting, energy-efficient heating and lighting, and future plans to be a zero landfill business.

The 12 winners and one overall winner will be announced at a grand ceremony taking place in the Banqueting Suite at the Council House on the 5th June.

Application forms can be downloaded from The closing date for entries is Friday 22 May 2015.

Good luck to The Priory Rooms!

Beth Talks Benefits of SEWM Membership Wed, 13 May 2015 20:21:00 +0100 On Thursday 21st May Social Enterprise West Midlands (SEWM) are hosting a Members Induction; an ideal opportunity for new or existing members to meet each other and the SEWM team.

SEWMspeakerphoto.jpgThe Priory Rooms’ Business Development Manager Beth Sadler has been invited as one of the guest speakers. Beth will be sharing her experience of being a long-standing member of SEWM.

SEWM membership has brought The Priory Rooms invaluable marketing and promotional support; through coverage of Priory Rooms news on the SEWM website and weekly newsletter, e-shot promotions, and exhibitor stands at their many events. In addition, SEWM have held several events at The Priory Rooms for members to meet The Priory Rooms and experience the city centre meeting facilities.

Beth is delighted to be a speaker; thrilled membership is expanding because SEWM has become such a powerful champion for local social enterprises. She urges all members to attend the event, not just to hear her praise for the incredible work of the SEWM team, but because it is the perfect opportunity to:

  • Ensure you are getting the best out of your membership
  • Hear about how your membership benefits can work for you
  • Find out about upcoming opportunities and events
  • Meet the SEWM team and hear about how they can help
  • Meet other members and discover potential collaboration opportunities

Members Induction is at the SEWM Offices, Birmingham Enterprise Centre, 85-89 Hagley Road, Birmingham, B16 8QG, on the 21st May at 9:00am-12:00pm.

Book your place at the event on the SEWM website

Selling at Speed Tue, 12 May 2015 17:10:00 +0100 This May, The Priory Rooms’ Business Development Manager Beth Sadler enjoyed “selling at speed” to other Birmingham Chamber of Commerce members. The Chambers Speed Networking event was fast and fun! Beth met over 40 regional businesses, two minutes with each to sell, sell, sell. Beth left the unusual networking event with a sore throat from so much chatting, but a pile of business cards and new friends! An extremely successful event in raising The Priory Rooms’ profile!

Selling-at-Speed.jpgThe Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce offers businesses skills, knowledge, contacts and resources, including an extensive networking and events programme. The Priory Rooms became a member of the Chamber in 2009, Beth regularly attends their varied and popular events which have created a number of business leads.

The Chambers’ Speed Networking may have a more demanding format, but it creates a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone who attends! Attendees sit in two rows facing each other. They have two minutes to sell their business services to the person opposite before the bell goes and the next person moves along the row. The event, sponsored by Microsoft, had a great mix of people there including the ICC, Natwest, University of Wolverhampton, Bullring and Hotel La Tour.

In between the seat shuffling, bell chiming and lots of business cards, Beth promoted to new faces The Priory Rooms Meetings and Conference Centre ideal for seminars, training and meetings, with a stunning 1930s décor conference room for 220 people. With flexible day delegate rates starting from £30+vat many took away Beth’s details to book a viewing of the city centre venue.

To join a future networking event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce visit their website

To enquire about hiring The Priory Rooms for your next meeting or conference, call the Bookings Team on 0121 236 2317. The website has information and pictures of the choice of rooms available