Together with the University of Leeds and first direct Arena, Well Met Conferencing led the Leeds city bid, fighting off strong competition from the sector to host the prestigious event. The joint venues will deliver the final week of the UK’s foremost teacher training residential, including The Teacher Development Conference, for the next two years.
Driven by Well Met Conferencing, the bid was secured through collaborative working with MEETinLEEDS, the conferencing office for the University of Leeds; a move which proved to be successful in 2014 when the joint proposal triumphed over the previous host, the University of Warwick. Key stakeholders in the bid included: LeedsBID, Conference Leeds, Leeds City Council, Town Centre Securities, Leeds Hotels and Venues Association and Virgin Trains East Coast.
Partners first direct Leeds Arena will provide space for plenary events which require a large scale venue, whilst student halls of residence around the city will supply excellent en-suite accommodation for approximately 20,000 bed nights.
Leeds will host the final week of Teach First’s five week Summer Institute training residential, where the entire incoming cohort for that year will be brought together nationally for the first time after initial training and work experience in their respective regions. The cohort are provided with seminars and tutorials to prepare them for teaching in schools in England and Wales from September. This time also sees the return of previous Teach First cohorts, allowing more experienced teachers to engage and network with those new to the profession.
The week starts with the Teacher Development Conference – which will be the largest teaching CPD event in the UK.
The return of the eminent teacher training event highlights Leeds position as a dominant force in the conferencing sector. The city welcomed 3.9 million delegates in 2015 and, with business tourism being worth £501m to the economy, the continued growth of this sector is proving to be lucrative for venues, hotels and cultural assets alike.
Reuben Moore, Director – Leadership, Teach First said:
"The culmination of Summer Institute is one of the highlights of the year for Teach First. It's the week when our new cohort and the wider education community comes together in the city to build the essential, lifelong skills they'll need to end the education inequality experienced by the country's poorest pupils.
"Leeds has been a great host to Teach First in previous years and I'm delighted that we will be returning to the city in 2017 and 2018."
Professor Peter Slee, Vice Chancellor, Leeds Beckett University commented:
“I am delighted that Teach First have decided to return to Leeds for the next two years. I believe that, through our partnership with the University of Leeds, Leeds Arena and the excellent performance of our conferencing team we offer a compelling and high quality experience for important, large scale events of this nature. Next year’s delegates will be able to take advantage of our newest dedicated conference facility at the historic Cloth Hall Court and we hope that this new cohort of trainees will be inspired to take what they learn here in Leeds, into careers that inspire the next generation.”
Sir Alan Langlands, Vice Chancellor, University of Leeds said:
“Leeds is a great place to live and learn and an enjoyable place to visit. Securing the Teach First conferences for 2017 and 2018 is a great coup for the city, and an excellent example of what can be achieved through collaborative working.
The Teach First participants bring great enthusiasm and interest to our campus during the summer holidays and will be made very welcome.”
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council comments:
“This is absolutely fantastic news for Leeds to secure the prestigious Teach First conference for the next two years. To win such a significant conference highlights the success of our collaborative conferencing city proposition which continues to deliver year on year growth and has proved to have a significant impact on the Leeds economy. We have built up a great reputation for teaching and learning in Leeds and to be the host city for the UK’s future teachers cements Leeds’ ambition to be a truly Child Friendly City.”