Students conference to net city £2 million

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MORE than £2 million worth of extra business is expected to be created in Sheffield when the city hosts the National Union of Students annual conferences.

The organisation made the claim as it announced it will host the conferences in Sheffield in April 2012 and 2013 over three days at Sheffield City Hall.

Around 1,500 delegates will come to the city, with many staying in city centre hotels.

Union president Liam Burns said: “We are delighted to be bringing the NUS National Conference to Sheffield. It’s a fantastic opportunity to visit a great city and we look forward to being welcomed by the people of Sheffield.

“Sheffield has one of the largest and most diverse student populations in the country with 60,000 students at two great universities - the largest further education provider in Europe with students’ unions that have a real impact in their local area.”

Gemma Bradshaw, business tourism manager at Sheffield Convention Bureau, who helped to secure the deal, said: “It is fantastic to see NUS commit to hold their national conference in Sheffield over the next two years.

“It clearly demonstrates that conference organisers see Sheffield as a competitive location to deliver high quality and high profile events.

“This important deal, which will provide a welcome boost to the city’s hotels and businesses, was made possible due to the presence of the Sheffield Convention Bureau and SIV at International CONFEX in 2010 where discussions began to bring the NUS conference to the city.”

The conference gathers student leaders from across the UK to set NUS policy for the year ahead and elect national student representatives.

The events will follow on from the city hosting the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference at the same venue in March this year.

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield MP said: “I’m delighted the NUS have chosen Sheffield for their major national conferences.

“Held over several days, the conferences will generate substantial income and showcase the city to thousands of people.

“The NUS decision highlights the fact that, with two great universities, we are now one of the most popular student cities in the country.”