ICC Belfast targets £125m economic impact as meetings return

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L-R: Conor Carberry, Tourism Ireland, Dr. Peter Cotgreave, Microbiology Society, Prof Gurdyal Besra FRS, Microbiology Society, Charlie McCloskey, ICC Belfast & Rachael McGuickin, Visit Belfast. Image: Supplied. L-R: Conor Carberry, Tourism Ireland, Dr. Peter Cotgreave, Microbiology Society, Prof Gurdyal Besra FRS, Microbiology Society, Charlie McCloskey, ICC Belfast & Rachael McGuickin, Visit Belfast. Image: Supplied.

International Convention Centre (ICC) Belfast is gearing up to host the Microbiology Society Conference, an event anticipated to kickstart its target of generating a £125m economic impact for the region.

More than 1,000 delegates are expected to take part in the four-day conference happening in April.

Microbiology Society chief executive, Dr Peter Cotgreave said: “Following the spotlight that has been thrown on microbiology by the pandemic, it’s wonderful to be back in Belfast for our Annual Conference, which will enable new collaborations and the development of research which has the power to change lives.”

The conference is the first of three international conferences being held at ICC Belfast this year, which are jointly estimated to deliver an economic impact of £5m. The International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language Conference will take place in May and the Intensive Care Society State of the Art Congress in June.

The event venue’s target forms part of the New Integrated Strategy for Business Events in Northern Ireland, which launched in March, and seeks to double the number of international conferences hosted annually and attract three times the number of delegates from the UK and Ireland by 2030.

The steering group made up of representatives from Tourism Northern Ireland, Visit Belfast and Visit Derry, and a range of organisations including ICC Belfast, Invest NI, Queen’s University and Ulster University, estimated that the business events sector in Northern Ireland could generate an additional £209 million in direct economic impact and up to 2000 new jobs by 2030.

Part of the strategy to attract international conferences is the Belfast and Northern Ireland Conference Support Scheme, which helped win the Microbiology Society Conference.

ICC Belfast chief executive, Julia Corkey, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Microbiology Society… When we bring these events to our venues, we take real pride in the fact that the economic impact will be felt throughout Belfast and Northern Ireland.”

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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