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Telford hits the target with bid win to host European Archery Festival 2014 

 Sarah Bird, Gary Hargraves, Naomi Folkard, Hollie Jones
Telford and Shropshire is celebrating in style once again after the recent announcement that it has won the bid to be host destination for the Europe’s largest archery tournament and trade show next year.   In a bid led by The International Centre Telford and supported by the Meet Telford & Shropshire convention bureau, the destination secured the prestigious European Archery Festival for 2014, a four day event which has been billed as a true festival of archery.

“This is fantastic news and a real coup for Telford as not only is this Europe’s single largest archery event, but it’s the first time that this event will come to the UK” said Sarah Bird, Business Tourism Manager for Meet Telford & Shropshire. “Our region is renowned as the home of the modern Olympics, and this bid win absolutely continues our proud Olympic legacy and our success in attracting and retaining national and international sporting events. As one of the largest events in the world archery calendar, nearly 1,500 competitors from over 30 countries will travel to Telford for the three-day long tournament, and the destination will also welcome more than 3,000 visiting supporters, coaches and spectators.”  

“Overall, this will see an economic boost of around £1.1million to the Telford and Shropshire economy, as visitors stay and enjoy our region – from our world-class convention facilities to our world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. And this absolutely endorses the hard work and investment that has been – and is continuing to be made – in our region. We are committed to delivering the very best event facilities and visitor experience, and with hotels across Telford enjoying multi-million-pound renovations and refurbishments, plus the £250million Heart of Telford Southwater development creating a purpose designed and built pedestrianised convention quarter and retail and leisure hub.”  

The decision to bring this flagship event to Telford is a huge vote of confidence for the destination, and after three months of major event announcements is also a real indicator that Telford is achieving its aim to become one of the UK’s new convention capitals.  

The announcement was made this week at The International Centre, Telford, where double Paralympic champion and three-time World Champion Danielle Brown MBE, and three-times Olympian Naomi Folkard joined members of Archery GB and the event team to mark the occasion. “I was delighted when Telford won the bid to host the event next year. To see this festival come to the town where I’ve made my home makes me enormously proud, and I’m really looking forward to competitors and visitors to the event seeing for themselves just what we have to offer.” explained Danielle Brown.  

“We’re understandably delighted to have secured the European Archery Festival for 2014,” explained Tom Gray, Chief Executive of the Southwater Event Group. “Not only will The International Centre host a tournament of international importance, but we’re supporting the organisers with their exciting plans to develop a full festival of archery which will also see one of our halls host the most inclusive archery trade show seen to date.”  

“The organisers praised our accessibility, great location, and the ease of visitor flow around and between our exhibition halls, conference suites and seminar rooms as a leading factor in their decision to bring the event to the region and we very much look forward to welcoming thousands of competitors and spectators from all over the world, and sharing with them the exceptional hospitality for which we are so renowned”.  

Running from the 24th to 26th January 2014, the event looks set to be much more than simply a tournament for the elite of the archery world. “This is very much a chance for people to compete on a world stage, in an International-level competition, and enjoy the atmosphere and everything that goes along with it, regardless of bowstyle, age, or the amount of tournament experience” said Gary Hargraves, Event Director.  

“It’s being designed to allow lots of participation with plenty of opportunities for people to have a go at archery. And it’s this flexibility which led us to choose The International Centre as our venue. Not only are we able to host a tournament to rival any other, but we’re putting on a supporting exhibition which is bigger and better than the archery world will ever have seen before. It’s exciting times!”

Pictured left to right: Sarah Bird, Gary Hargraves, Naomi Folkard and Hollie Jones

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