Event Destination Hull: The UK’s City of Culture 2017
A city based in the East Yorkshire, Hull is the UK’s City of Culture for 2017 – a title that was first awarded Derry-Londonderry back in 2013 and will be awarded to another city in 2021. Given to a city that ‘demonstrates the belief in the transformative power of culture’, Hull has a rich cultural history that is still prevalent within the city today.
As part of being award the city of culture Hull has received funding to regenerate its city centre’s public spaces, as well as funding for a large new state of the art MICE venue – ‘Hull Venue’ – and cruise terminal – the latter to be completed within the next 5 years.
Bearing in mind Hull’s incredible calendar of cultural events for 2017 – over 1,500 events in 365 days – the city’s fantastic make-over in the lead up to 2017 and its historical resonance, Hull should be a serious contender for MICE not only this year but in those following.
Hull: An Overview of The City
‘…a city that is in the world yet sufficiently on the edge of it to have a different resonance’ – Poet, Philip Larkin
Situated halfway between London and Edinburgh, Hull is in a relatively central location in the UK and has a long history that dates back to the 1100s and through the years has been a market town, military port, fishing and whaling centre and now an industrial metropolis.
The city offers visitors a vibrant mix of culture, nightlife, shopping and sports activities with a historic old town, numerous museums and attractions, state of the art MICE venues and plenty of award winning hotels to stay in.
A city that has always stood apart from the rest, Hull has its own independent telephone network company, KCOM, meaning that instead of the iconic red telephone boxes seen across the rest of England Hull city’s are cream.
Hull’s nearest airport is Humberside Airport, located 20 miles (32 km) from the city centre and receives flights from London and Aberdeen as well as international destination such as Amsterdam. Robin Hood Airport 48 miles (77km) and Leeds Bradford International Airport 70 miles (112 km) are alternatives for other European destinations and intercontinental flights.
In terms of national infrastructure links via the UK motorway network, Hull is easily accessible via the M62 Motorway and A63 road. The city itself has the Hull Paragon Interchange as its transport hub, which combines the main bus and rail termini in one integrated complex that sees over 24,000 people pass through it everyday. Express trains run to and from London, Leeds and Manchester several times a day.
Visitors from Europe could also opt to reach Hull via ferry, with P&O Ferries providing daily overnight ferry services to and from Zeebrugge and Rotterdam.
Hull City Hall
Hull City Hall can offer corporate groups a number of different spaces suitable for a wide range of events, from business conferences to exhibitions. If it’s grandeur you’re after The Main Hall is perfect – it even has a fully working concert organ behind the stage. The hall can be used in a number of different layouts accommodating 400 to 1800 persons.
For gala dinners and entertainment evenings The Mortimer Suite has a stunning central atrium framed by an ornate domed ceiling with the facility to be split into either East and West Galleries if desired, catering to 200 – 300 people. Whilst the Victoria Bar is ideal for 80 – 150 people and boasts and outside balcony that overlooks Queen Victoria Square.
Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel
Located just outside of Hull city, the Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel is a stunning 19th century manor house boasting 12 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens – the perfect setting for a corporate retreat. What makes it even more perfect is that it’s only 15 minutes from Humberside Airport.
The largest events hotel in East Yorkshire, their event spaces include 10 meeting rooms can cater to over 550 delegates, whilst their largest room, the International Suit, can cater up to this number in a conference setting. With parking for up to 600 guests and over 100 rooms, this hotel is the perfect all-in-one location for your corporate event. They also have free high-speed WiFi, what’s not to love?
Hull Truck Theatre
Built for £15 million, the Hull Truck Theatre is a state of the art venue that boasts 429 seats in its main theatre and 135 seats in its studio theatre, which are located alongside flexible breakout areas / meeting rooms and two café bars. Modern audio-visual equipment is also available to hire for each space.
The Hull Truck theatre is has an incredibly convenient central location in the city, making it just a two minute walk from The Interchange. For delegates who aren’t making use of public transport, secure parking adjacent to the theatre means that delegates won’t need to worry finding a place to park.
Also one of Hull’s best-loved visitor attractions, The Deep is a fantastically unique setting for a corporate meetings and conferences. Offering a range of versatile locations for corporate events, from smaller intimate meetings at the Business Centre, to breakfast meetings in front of the penguin enclosure, right up to large gala dinners in the heart of the aquarium with amazing sharks and rays swimming by, there are options to suit all businesses.
Boasting stunning views over the Humber, this award-winning aquarium offers a unique backdrop for your events. Ideal for less formal corporate gatherings, this setting really does make for a memorable corporate event in Hull.
Places to stay and things to do in Hull
Hull is lucky in that it has a relatively compact city centre meaning that it’s incredibly easy to move from one venue to another for a conference or event. There is no shortage of places to stay within the city centre, with hotels including The Royal Hotel with its beautiful Victorian façade, Best Western Willerby Manor Hotel – with one of the highest AA ratings in the area, and Holiday Inn overlooking the marina. If you’re choosing to stay away from the city centre completely or want to be able to retreat back to tranquil accommodation outside of the bustling city, the Hallmark hotel has panoramic views of the Humber estuary, boasts 4 stars, and if just 5 miles away on the outskirts.
There is plenty to see and do in Hull – museums, exciting dining experiences, Hull Marina, visit the cobbled streets of Old Town and its microbrewery, and the boutique shopping centre. You could even have a custom guided tour created for your group.
Outside of the city centre there is the Yorkshire Wolds and the dramatic East Yorkshire heritage coastline – these beautiful outdoor locations lend themselves perfectly to horse riding, windsurfing, boat trips, and adventurous team building such as survival training! In nearby Bridlington you could even take part in traditional rock making, there are also plenty of golf facilities just outside of the city.
Local Entertainment Options in Yorkshire
As Hull is 2017’s UK City of Culture we couldn’t end this article without giving an overview of some of the best entertainment options available in Yorkshire for your corporate event in Hull!
Drum Band Yorkshire
The perfect way to energise delegates at a conference or to get the party started at the evening celebrations, this drum band based in Yorkshire are renowned for their relentless energy and alternative style. Bringing the best of street music and festival culture to live events, the 20-strong band can tailor their costumes and style to suit your event’s theme. If there is one thing that’s for sure it’s that set pulses racing with their high-energy rhythms!
Variety Dance Group
One of our favourite after dinner entertainment options is an elaborate dance show. This all-female group of professional dancers can cater to a whole range of themes, whether you want to bring a taste of Vegas or French cabaret to your event in Hull! Stunning costumes, slick choreographies and high quality soundtracks make for an impressive show which can be followed by a meet and greet session with your guests.
Interactive Murder Mystery Show
This is an incredibly fun interactive murder mystery show perfect for corporate lunches and dinners. A murder has taken place inside the very venue you and your delegates are in – can you work together to solve the murder mystery? Professional actors and actresses will play the role of suspects and your team are encouraged to eavesdrop, snoop and interrogate all in the name of solving the crime. Visual clues will have also been left to investigate. Having been previously booked by the likes of Audi and Hilton, the whole production can be tailored to meet each company’s individual needs.
Speed Painter Dave
Showing off the best of Yorkshire’s artistic talent, our Leeds based speed painter has one of the most extensive repertoires of portraits of any speed painter. Not only that but he can recreate a portrait of your choice – custom if requested – in a high-impact, adrenaline filled show complete with music and dance moves! Guests will be in awe! Able to perform a series of paintings throughout a conference or in between courses at a dinner, or just one painting, Dave offers compact versatility.
This Leeds based Beatbox Trio offer something a little different and are another great choice for event planners wanting to embrace the ‘city of culture’ theme in their event entertainment. They give a jaw-dropping live show where they perform chart topping hits with just three microphones and three voices, no backing tracks – you won’t believe it until you’ve heard it. In addition to this they can also give corporate workshops of 1hr plus where they teach participants the basics of beat boxing, or if you prefer they can conduct a 15 – 20 minute icebreaker.
Hull – The UK MICE Venue of 2017?
So Hull may be the UK’s City of Culture for 2017, but how does it stand up as a MICE destination for event planners and corporate groups? We say pretty well.
The city has a fantastic calendar of cultural events to look forward to this year that event planners would be wise to make use of whether to tie them in with a corporate incentive trip or something else. Not to mention the city’s multi-million pound make over in preparation for its year of being the city of culture.
Hull also has great transport links to the rest of the UK and Europe, not to mention a number of unique MICE venues and hotels located both in the city centre and outside of it.
With plenty of activities on offer for all kinds of corporate groups – from those that like to get outdoors and try their hand at adventure, to those that would prefer to partake in a tasting at the city’s microbrewery, as well as fantastic local entertainment options to entertain guests during your main event, Hull has a lot to offer.
If you’re planning an event in Hull, Yorkshire or anywhere in the rest of the UK get in touch with us and we can help you find local entertainment to really make your event unforgettable. Call us on 01626 572072 or fill out our online enquiry form.