Quakers open space for 1,000 delegatesPaul Grey, Head of Hospitality at The Friends House, said at the launch of The Light as a new venue: ‘This is a terrific day. The Light is not only a fantastic contemporary events space; it is also an important place of history at the heart of the Quakers’ centrally-managed operations in Britain. As such, respect for heritage and the environment are of paramount importance to us.’
Over 200 buyers and industry stakeholders attended the events which showcased the full capacity of the stand-alone venue and London’s newest auditorium. It is located opposite Easton Station and ‘Sustainability’ was a running theme through the exclusive Open Day and evening launch.
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain, also underlined how revenue generated from Friends House and The Light will support life-changing work carried out by the Quakers.
The Light has a capacity of 1,000, but can also become a more intimate setting to host 570. The space can be transformed into cabaret, theatre and exhibition styles and the possibility of hosting larger numbers for dining through a marquee package is also in the pipeline.
Day delegate rates for events, conferences and exhibitions begin at £60 (inc vat) and reflect the Quakers’ ethos of fairness and sustainability. This is also mirrored in the venue’s seasonal catering options, all of which are sourced from local providers, and its choice of sustainable building materials.
The building is still the main hall of the central offices of Quakers in Britain, the Quakers wanted to make Friends House a more versatile and sustainable building, a haven in the city and expressive of radical ideas. Coupled with the knowledge that there is an increasing demand for large events space in central London, the trustees decided to begin a £4.5m renovation of the hall.
Designers of the venue were briefed to develop and transform the original hall but to retain the key heritage features. The wooden panelling and large windows have been kept, while new features include a stunning roof light and vaulted roof to make it more contemporary.
The Light will be fully accessible, including a flexi step to the stage. A new lift means disabled guests will not be restricted to the ground floor.
State-of-the-art audio visual facilities have been installed, including a 5-metre-wide projection screen, a new PA system and LED lighting. There is also the opportunity to broadcast events live online through the venue’s video system.