Manchester’s status as a world-class conference venue has been further secured by the 2012 Labour Party Conference, according to city officials.
The conference, held at the Manchester Central complex, drew to a close yesterday with the city receiving hugely positive feedback from many of the thousands who attended.
It is the fourth time that the Labour Party has held its annual conference in Manchester, and they have already confirmed a return to the city in 2014.
Iain McNicol, Labour Party General Secretary, said: “Labour broke new ground when we first held our annual conference in Manchester in 2006 and the city has never disappointed each time we’ve been back.
“Manchester has provided state-of-the-art venues for Labour shadow ministers, MPs and more than 11,000 delegates who attended conference over the five days, as they helped shape the party’s solutions to the challenges that Britain faces.”
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, cited the city’s proven track-record of hosting large-scale events as a major factor in the week’s success.
He said: “The thousands of delegates received a warm Manchester welcome and we look forward to seeing them here again in 2014, although I am sure many of them will visit us before then.
“Everywhere I went during the conference, delegates were full of praise for our city and what we have to offer.”
The city’s business tourism sector also received a boost, with Andrew Stokes, chief executive of Marketing Manchester, estimating that the Labour Party presence had generated £24million in economic benefit to the city.
Labour leader Ed Miliband, whose stirring ‘One Nation’ speech was one of the conference highlights, celebrated the close of the event by sampling an iconic piece of Manchester culture when he visited ‘The Rovers Return’ pub on the set of TV soap ‘Coronation Street’ yesterday.
With Manchester firmly established as a preferred conference destination, Labour chiefs are already looking forward to their return in two years’ time.
Mr McNicol said: “Once again conference this year has proven to be a great success and I know everyone is delighted that we’ll be back in Manchester again for our fifth national conference in the city in 2014.”