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Telford celebrates major event milestone

Telford celebrates major event milestone
Telford is celebrating a major milestone after the UK’s largest convenience trade show hosted its 21st consecutive event in the town and announced plans to return to the destination for the foreseeable future.

Pro retail returned once-again to The International Centre, Telford – located within the town’s new £multimillion Southwater development – on 14th and 15th April, and saw more than 6,000 convenience, forecourt and CTN retailers from across the UK descend on the region during the two day event.

Sarah Bird, Business Tourism Manager for Meet Telford & Shropshire, the official convention bureau for the region, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Pro retail event to the destination for their 21st year, which is not only a huge milestone, but fantastic recognition of the event offer we have here in the region. During its 21 years in Telford, the event has grown from 3000sqm to a mammoth 13,000sqm and has attracted more than 153,000 visitors to the region, significantly contributing to the local economy as we transform into an events destination of choice.”

Chris Etherington, Chairman and CEO at Palmer and Harvey, the UK’s number one delivered wholesaler responsible for the event, said:  “We were absolutely thrilled to mark 21 years in Telford, which just so happens to coincide with our 90th year in business.

“We come to Telford because it’s a really central location, and with customers coming from as far afield as Scotland, Northern Ireland and London, the accessibility really is unbeatable.”

To mark the milestone, Meet Telford & Shropshire presented the Palmer and Harvey team with a celebratory ‘Key to Telford’, as well as a spectacular 21st birthday cake, branded cupcakes, and three luxury hampers brimming with local produce.

“Telford has established a reputation for its client retention and this is something we are very proud of,” continued Sarah. “In addition to Pro retail, Telford has become a destination of choice and success for a number of major national and international exhibition and convention events, and is fast cementing itself as a leading UK Convention Quarter, where events can establish and grow.

“With the hugely popular Southwater development and the recently introduced direct rail link to London, the region is even more accessible than ever, competing with the UK’s top city destinations not only with regards to location, quality of facilities and value, but in the delivery of a truly great visitor experience each and every time. From the contemporary urban culture of Telford to the world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ironbridge Gorge, we have a unique and inspiring events destination indeed.”

Tom Gray, CEO at the Southwater Event Group, which owns and runs The International Centre, Telford, concluded: “We were extremely proud to host Pro retail as it celebrated 21 years in Telford and the stature of this event reflects our ambitions as a venue to continually serve large, national events who are market-sector leaders. 

It is very positive to see the longevity of client retention, such as with Pro retail, and we work hard to achieve this by delivering exceptional client service and continually investing in our resource, venue and supporting services.

“As an events destination, Telford now offers all the benefits of its city counterparts, but with none of the congestion or distractions – and we look forward to marking many more event milestones in the months and years ahead.”

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