Convention centre

Postby GregF » Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:11 am

See that the Waterfront Hall in Belfast has been awarded for being one of the best conferences centres in Europe, if not the world. We down south still lack a National Conference Centre. Foot dragging by governments have made us miss out. Like the National Stadium debacle this has gone on long enough. How about they commit themselves and have this much needed thing built. Spencer Dock has to be favourite for Kevin Roche's proposal.
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Postby dc3 » Sat Oct 23, 2004 9:53 am

The City government in Prague is trying to sell their convention centre, which was expensively rebuilt with borrowed money a few years back, as it is losing huge amounts of money annually.

No if you were an American conventioneer which would you chose Prague and cheap beer or Dublin and dear beer, which would you pick?
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Postby PVC King » Sat Oct 23, 2004 1:53 pm

Originally posted by dc3
The City government in Prague is trying to sell their convention centre, which was expensively rebuilt with borrowed money a few years back, as it is losing huge amounts of money annually.

No if you were an American conventioneer which would you chose Prague and cheap beer or Dublin and dear beer, which would you pick?


Dublin because most bosses would never pay for their staff to go on a piss up, conventions are a serious business. I like the idea of city west it is very handy coming in from where I'm from.
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Postby Rockflanders » Sun Oct 24, 2004 7:54 pm

Well that settles it then.
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Postby PVC King » Sun Oct 24, 2004 9:34 pm

Originally posted by PVC King

Dublin because most bosses would never pay for their staff to go on a piss up, conventions are a serious business.


I never thought I'd agree with anyone called PVC King but you are right, Convention centres are a serious business that generate a huge spin-off tourist industry beyond that diectly attributable to the conventions.

Frankfurt is the best example of this with the World Famous Book Fair and Auto Show headlining the many conventions held there annually. The Citizens loved them because pub opening hours were extended by 2 hours within the tourist area Sachsenhausen which would be directly comparable to Temple Bar.

Originally posted by PVC King I like the idea of city west it is very handy coming in from where I'm from.


It might be a great location for those en route from Inchedony to Ard Fheis, but conference centres are generally for International Conventions so a City Centre location would be preferable.

I entirely agree with GregF Kevin Roches tribute to the gasometer must be the front runner, along with the National Stadium I would like to add a realistic commuter transport system to the list of things that have been dithered by Mary O'Rourke and her successors in title.

If the government allowed Mansfields City West Hotel to become the National Showcase it really would send out all the wrong signals.
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Postby notjim » Sun Oct 24, 2004 11:42 pm

yeah, well, for proper international conference need a unique selling point and dublin being dublin has that, city of joyce, dublin pubs, national gallery, 1916, shelbourne park, blah blah blah, a spencer dock confernce centre can market all of that, city west can't , any city, say sheffied or leeds or whereever can build a conference centre on the ring road, only dublin can be dublin. it has to be in the city centre.
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Postby Rockflanders » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:11 am

Those who have been following the Conference Centre deliberations (article in todays paper attached) they will know that citywest is not shortlisted as a possible site for the National Conference Centre. Spencer Dock is shortlisted but as previously mentioned in this thread - the design is awful, it is surrounded by apartments and offices, it is not on the waterfront.
Another group has a submission in for the racetrack in Leapordstown which one would only have to fondly remember the Baileys Icon to judge. (Those empty golden buses shooting up the Stillorgan Dual Carriageway!) The remaining submission which I personally prefer is down beside the Point Depot, has large surrounding space for ancillary non-commercial development (national theatre, national stadium, national welly throwing arena), has the C1 Luas extension to the door, footbridges etc. to the southside, Port Tunnel to the airport and beyond and Dublin Port for cruise ships and passenger ferries.

Whether one will actually be built this time (I stand to be corrected but have not Treasury won this competition twice before?) or a decision reached before 2006 remains to be seen but Dublin would be the preferred destination of hundreds of well heeled groups of conferencees for whom the destination city is just as important as the actual talks.




Minister blames red tape for delayed conference centre plan
Arthur Beesley, Political Reporter
26/10/2004





The Government will be unable to select a group to build the national conference centre until late next summer at the earliest due to "tortuous" red tape in the Department of Finance, the Minister for Tourism has indicated.


Mr O'Donoghue wanted a preferred bidder chosen before Christmas, but he has conceded that the deadline will not be met because of the bureaucracy involved in the public-private partnership funding model being used by the Government.

In remarks to the Dáil last week that were not reported at the time, the Minister said the process should be changed.

"As far as my experience goes, it is tortuous in the extreme," he said. "It is tortuous for the officials involved, the Minister and those who are interested in becoming involved in construction. I hope that one of these days someone will see sense and change the guidelines governing this process. I have rarely come across as much red tape or bureaucracy in all my days travelling."

The groups shortlisted last July by the Government are said to be frustrated at the delays in the process, which was initiated last January. Those on the list include the long-time bidder Treasury Holdings, which wants to build the centre at Spencer Dock in central Dublin.

The Anna Livia Consortium, led by Bennett Construction, wants to build the centre at a site owned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority near the Point Theatre. The group involving the construction firm Michael McNamara and the Leopardstown Club Consortium wants to build it on land owned by Horse Racing Ireland adjacent to the Carrickmines end of the Leopardstown racecourse.

Mr O'Donoghue said in the Dáil that the public-private partnership was "necessarily complex" and was being carried out in accordance with interim guidelines developed by the Department of Finance.

The preparation of detailed project documentation was demanding and time-consuming.

While it would not be possible to select a preferred bidder before the end of the year, Mr O'Donoghue said the objective now was to to ensure that invitations to tender were issued to the three pre-qualified candidates before Christmas.
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Postby PVC King » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:21 pm

Has anyone read the Bord Pleanala refusal from earlier this year. It is extremely clear "only a city centre site will be considered"

As notjim said the Dublin of...............

but I still reckon Limerick would put on a better show
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Postby vinnyfitz » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:36 pm

Originally posted by Thomond Park
Has anyone read the Bord Pleanala refusal from earlier this year. It is extremely clear "only a city centre site will be considered"


Irrelevant I fear. The South Dublin Council momentum to rezone City West is more or less unstoppable.

Once this happens Mansfield will proceed to complete his erection as a convention centre whether ABP likes it or not.

Thereafter, the pressure on the Government to co-fund anything else will be minimal. (Anyway Mansfield will probably be off to the EU Commission or European Court complaining about anti competitive State Aids or something if the Government incentivises or co-funds a city centre competitor)
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Postby PVC King » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:57 pm

Originally posted by vinnyfitz


Irrelevant I fear. The South Dublin Council momentum to rezone City West is more or less unstoppable.

Once this happens Mansfield will proceed to complete his erection as [B]a
convention centre whether ABP likes it or not.

Thereafter, the pressure on the Government to co-fund anything else will be minimal. (Anyway Mansfield will probably be off to the EU Commission or European Court complaining about anti competitive State Aids or something if the Government incentivises or co-funds a city centre competitor) [/B]


Once rezoned it still will make little difference thankfully, every Bord Pleanala considers the appropriateness of the zoning by the Local Authority, the conference centre will not be considered by ABP at this location unless a new Government policy document is drafted. It is very much a situation of the National being considered first and the local second.

As for government funding I totally agree with you, there is no political will to deliver on this project. The RDS were awarded generous grants for this project in 1997, and it was Mary O'Rourke who stopped the process by launching another competition.

Get the Minister for Limerick to rebuild Thomond Park put a retractable roof over it and give us our conference centre.
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Postby vinnyfitz » Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:23 am

I wish you were right. But unless there is an explicit government policy statement over-ruling random convention centres - which is not in place at the moment, the Board will have no veto over some thing like this.

Read the decision again. The basis of refusal was the contravention of zoning.
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Re: Convention centre

Postby Rockflanders » Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:47 pm

The target market will be very different in citywest. He really will not be a competitive threat to whichever one is built in the docklands. At least he doesnt have kevin Roche turning a sugar bowl on it's side.
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Re: Convention centre

Postby PVC King » Sun Nov 28, 2004 12:13 am

Rockflanders wrote:The target market will be very different in citywest. He really will not be a competitive threat to whichever one is built in the docklands. At least he doesnt have kevin Roche turning a sugar bowl on it's side.


The cylendrical form of Roches design must be understood in the context of the 'Dublin Gasometer' that stood almost directly opposite the Spencer Dock site. It was taken down and the ground around it de-contaminated, in that regard it is a bold statement of the old merging into the new. Of all the proposals I have seen it is the only one with any originality. It certainly has to be a million times better than a second generation industrial building with a mock georgian facade.

It will in my opinion entirely undermine the viability of any subsequent conference centre as Mansfield will attempt to undercut any other market entrant as he will have the inferior product there would be no other market play.

The presence of another conference centre albiet warehouse specification will create enough market risk to drive most if not all potential market entrants. In essence leaving with us with a large warehouse to showcase Ireland to the world, which simply will not be capable of attracting the Regional i.e. European Level conferences needed to acheive the Tourism Ireland conference centre objectives
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Re: Convention centre

Postby Rockflanders » Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:50 pm

At least we are all experienced enough here to recognise individual opinions on architecture! ;)
Do you mean the gasometer McNamara's are building in? still standing last time I was there.
Part of the National Conference Centre competition involves proposing an operator. I dont think any of the bidders find that a problem.
The Illinois association of Cardio Surgeons will only have their conference in Dublin if there is a city centre location so their partners can shop. The competition is for a national conference centre, let Mansfield have his amateur snooker tournaments and sausage making conventions, the ancillary and direct spend is at least 5 times lower.

Seriously though, Roche's design: uni-faceted, unyielding, tombsone to modern architecture. Sort of reminds me of the last shot fired in the war of independence. Am open to contradiction though
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Re: Convention centre

Postby PVC King » Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:05 pm

Rockflanders wrote:Do you mean the gasometer McNamara's are building in? still standing last time I was there. Part of the National Conference Centre competition involves proposing an operator. I dont think any of the bidders find that a problem.


Thyat one remains it is part of the 'Gasworks Scheme' where Goolgle have their EMEA offices, the one I was talking about stood on the Corner of John Rogersons Quay and Cardiff Lane until about 10 years ago, it was much taller and was a stale shade of grey, but was a readily identifiable landmark from most parts of Dublin. It was so ugly that most people grew to accept it.


Rockflanders wrote:The Illinois association of Cardio Surgeons will only have their conference in Dublin if there is a city centre location so their partners can shop. The competition is for a national conference centre, let Mansfield have his amateur snooker tournaments and sausage making conventions, the ancillary and direct spend is at least 5 times lower.


I don't agree even though I can see the merit in what you are saying, Property developers work on risk and reward and any conference centre is extremely high risk, but one where a competitor exists (particularly one that only has the ability to cut on price and would be doing so aggressively) in a market as small as Dublin would be beyond the risk profile bourne by virtually all Irish developers.

What there is no risk in building is an industrial building and calling it a conference centre, no-one would get planning for this proposal in the DCC area although a high spec conference centre would require a number of sausage conventions and snooker events to cover annual running costs. The Frankfurt Messe hosts about 100 events per year of which less than 20% are the type of conference it originally intended to host. It is an accepted fact that the Messe wouldn't surviveif it were undercut for these secondary events by an industrial shed on the periphery. :confused:
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Re: Convention centre

Postby Rockflanders » Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:13 pm

Mansfield will make his money from the hotel rooms like any other conference centre. Most National conference centres are technically loss leaders however the Earlscourt Olympia group in London according to estimates published by the British government is responsible for 2bn spend for every 2oom of their turnover.
Your argument on risk and reward appears correct although it does not stand up in practice as there are to my knowledge and according to the article above, 3 property developers competing for the national conference centre competition who would not be doing it if it wasnt going to make money. I would expect that this would include government subsidy in the short term however if the benefit to the Irish economy was going to be a multiple of 10 of the capital input surely that would be a benefit to all? Again, the vast majority of this spend will come from a market that Mansfield will have no access to. Dublin is one of the most desirable destinations in surveys of the large international conference organisers but they would not go to a shed in the suburbs.

The Frankfurt Messe by the way is competing against the Saalbau and the Jahrhunderthalle Frankfurt.
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Re: Convention centre

Postby Lotts » Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:24 pm

How about a shed in the midlands?

Consortium headed by Pat McDonagh (Supermac founder) has lodged an inital plan for conference center and hotel in Athlone with westmeath co-co.

indo article

[Bugmenot Irish indo]
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Re: Convention centre

Postby modular man » Tue Dec 21, 2004 7:18 pm

Whatever about the rights and wrongs of building a national conferance centre in Athlone, it has to be said, that building is a shocker!
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Re: Convention centre

Postby jdivision » Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:14 pm

Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin Ltd has today welcomed the news that is the winner of the competition to build the new National Conference Centre, saying it will now build a landmark facility of which Ireland will be proud. Work will begin on the site immediately.

Responding to today’s announcement by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism John O’Donoghue, chairman of SDICC Dermod Dwyer said: "Our team is thrilled that we have been chosen to construct and operate this landmark building. We have dedicated a huge amount of time, effort and resources to ensuring it will be seen as one of the world’s leading convention centres."

Accommodating up to 8,000 delegates, the building has been designed to provide high-quality and flexible meeting space, finished to the highest standards and with the most modern technology available.

"Once this building opens, we will have a facility of which Ireland will be proud," Mr Dwyer said. "It will allow us to welcome major international events with up to 8000 delegates and will give us the opportunity to showcase Dublin, and Ireland, to the world.

"A partnership approach is crucial to this national project, and we would like to express our appreciation to Government, the OPW, CIE and other industry stakeholders," continued Dermod Dwyer. "I would also like to pay tribute to the principals of SDICC - John Ronan, Richard Barrett and Harry Crosbie - whose vision and determination have brought this project to fruition. I salute the dedicated team of professionals who have been involved in the project including the future managers of the conference centre the NEC group; building contractor CMP/Sisk; Architects Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates; and an extensive range of Irish and International consultants."

The National Conference Centre has been designed by the world-renowned Pritzker prize-winner Kevin Roche. When designing the new centre Roche said his aim was to create a legacy building which would be as iconic as the Four Courts and the Custom House.

Mr Roche stated that, for it to be successful, the centre must be properly planned, well managed and most of all, memorable, "The challenge for me was to design a building for both conventioneers and visitors that is state of the art, a pleasant place to visit and works better than any other conference centre anywhere," he said.

The NCC features a dedicated 2,000 seat auditorium, extensive exhibition and banqueting space and a range of flat-floored conference rooms all served by spacious naturally lit foyers over five levels.
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Re: Convention centre

Postby jdivision » Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:18 pm

Spencer Dock Convention Centre Dublin Ltd has today welcomed the news that is the winner of the competition to build the new National Conference Centre, saying it will now build a landmark facility of which Ireland will be proud. Work will begin on the site immediately.

Responding to today’s announcement by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism John O’Donoghue, chairman of SDICC Dermod Dwyer said: "Our team is thrilled that we have been chosen to construct and operate this landmark building. We have dedicated a huge amount of time, effort and resources to ensuring it will be seen as one of the world’s leading convention centres."

Accommodating up to 8,000 delegates, the building has been designed to provide high-quality and flexible meeting space, finished to the highest standards and with the most modern technology available.

"Once this building opens, we will have a facility of which Ireland will be proud," Mr Dwyer said. "It will allow us to welcome major international events with up to 8000 delegates and will give us the opportunity to showcase Dublin, and Ireland, to the world.

"A partnership approach is crucial to this national project, and we would like to express our appreciation to Government, the OPW, CIE and other industry stakeholders," continued Dermod Dwyer. "I would also like to pay tribute to the principals of SDICC - John Ronan, Richard Barrett and Harry Crosbie - whose vision and determination have brought this project to fruition. I salute the dedicated team of professionals who have been involved in the project including the future managers of the conference centre the NEC group; building contractor CMP/Sisk; Architects Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates; and an extensive range of Irish and International consultants."

The National Conference Centre has been designed by the world-renowned Pritzker prize-winner Kevin Roche. When designing the new centre Roche said his aim was to create a legacy building which would be as iconic as the Four Courts and the Custom House.

Mr Roche stated that, for it to be successful, the centre must be properly planned, well managed and most of all, memorable, "The challenge for me was to design a building for both conventioneers and visitors that is state of the art, a pleasant place to visit and works better than any other conference centre anywhere," he said.

The NCC features a dedicated 2,000 seat auditorium, extensive exhibition and banqueting space and a range of flat-floored conference rooms all served by spacious naturally lit foyers over five levels.
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Re: Convention centre

Postby PVC King » Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:10 pm

Fair play to Treasury Holdings they have displayed a very strong resolve to see this through.

I am delighted that Kevin Roche will be able to do a building in Dublin and this one does his formidable talent real justice.


But back to the issue of the National Conference Centre how has this project only received clearance from the government now?

In 1997 the RDS was the winner of a competition

Also in 1997 Mary O'Rourke reversed the decision

The project is then awarded to Treasury in 1999

The project clears ABP in 2000

The project then has its status removed

A new competition is announced

This project is yet another typical example of essential infrastructural provision in this country. It is no wonder that Treasury are investing billions abroad in projects such as Battersea Power Station and their Chinese Island. I suspect that these investments are a direct result of the hassle it has become in Ireland to do anything cutting edge.
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Re: Convention centre

Postby Peter Fitz » Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:17 pm

yep i just do not get the delays on this ... not sure either how it will fit "8000" delegates if the main auditorium has a capacity of 2K ? any mention of how much it will cost ?
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Re: Convention centre

Postby kefu » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:55 pm

Do people know is this the same design as has been doing the rounds for the best part of a decade or something a little bit different.
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Re: Convention centre

Postby jdivision » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:59 pm

kefu wrote:Do people know is this the same design as has been doing the rounds for the best part of a decade or something a little bit different.

Pretty much the same design
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Re: Convention centre

Postby SeamusOG » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:27 pm

City to get conference centre on banks of the Liffey

IT'S been a long time coming but now a glass-fronted newcomer is set to upstage its neighbours on the Liffey and become a landmark on the Dublin skyline.

The five levels of conference rooms, exhibition and banqueting space, and the 2,000-seat auditorium of the National Conference Centre have been much heralded over the past few years.

The UCD-educated architect who created the blueprint for the building admitted he had high aims in mind.

A "legacy" building was Pritzker prize-winning Kevin Roche's aim - one which would be as iconic as the Four Courts and the Custom House.

The €400m project had been mired in planning issues, but permission has finally been granted and diggers are already standing by on the 81-acre site.

Milestone

Arts Minister John O'Donoghue said that yesterday's signing of the contract with the Spencer Dock International Conference Centre Consortium, involving Treasury Holdings, businessman Harry Crosbie and Irish Rail, was a "milestone" for Irish tourism.

The NCC, to be located on the banks of the Liffey at Spencer Dock, will be less than half a mile from O'Connell Street and is expected to be completed by 2010.

The centre, boasting 22 meeting rooms, will accommodate up to 8,000 delegates.

Under the public-private partnership agreement, the consortium have signed up to design, build and finance the centre and will also operate it for a quarter of a century.

During this time it is expected to reap €380m, before the building then reverts to the ownership of the State.

Tourism chiefs have already started taking bookings, with the centre expected to be opening its doors for business in 2010.

Business tourism, including conference travel, is worth €475m to the Irish economy each year, according to Failte Ireland estimates.

Economy

The NCC is expected to be a moneyspinner for the economy, with estimated earnings of up to €50m a year.

Last night tourism and business interests welcomed the awarding of the contract.

Failte Ireland chair Gillian Bowler said Ireland would now be able to compete among the best to attract lucrative events here.

"I am particularly pleased that such a striking and innovative design has been selected, which will enhance the Liffey scape for generations to come," she said.

The Irish Hotels Federation said that the facility would help the country attract a larger share of the €40bn global conference market.

The Dublin Chamber of Commerce said that the announcement came at a critical time, given the loss of venues such as Jurys Ballsbridge, which had over 850 conference seats.

Louise Hogan


Whatever else can be said about the project, it's not less than half a mile away from O'Connell Street.:rolleyes:
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