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19 Jul 2020

Emirates Old Trafford welcomes Government decision on conference and exhibitions

Emirates Old Trafford has welcomed the decision from Prime Minister Boris Johnson which confirmed that conferences and exhibitions will be permitted in England from Thursday 1 October.

Emirates Old Trafford is currently staging the England vs West Indies behind-closed-doors Test Match Series, having worked alongside the ECB and the Government in recent months, which is the first international sport taking place since the Coronavirus pandemic struck. In due course, and in recognition of the impact COVID-19 has had on the events industry, Lancashire Cricket will be releasing guidance on how the Club has implemented the bio-secure environment throughout the venue as well as working with Hilton and their industry-leading ‘Hilton Clean Stay’ initiative.

 

The Government have confirmed that all events must adhere to social distancing guidelines, which will affect the total capacity of delegates that a venue will be allowed to accommodate. Pilot events will also take place ahead of the reopening of larger scale events.

Emirates Old Trafford Chief Executive, Daniel Gidney, said: “We’re delighted to have received confirmation that we are able to open the doors to our world-class venue once more. This has been an uncertain time for everybody in the  £70billion events industry and COVID-19 has had more of an impact than any of us could have anticipated.

“What we are doing at the moment with behind-closed-doors cricket and working in conjunction with the ECB is industry-leading and this has provided us with a blueprint to move forwards and understand what events will look like in the future. We are effectively currently the only large events venue in the country that is operating and have developed strong operational discipline.

“I am extremely confident that we will be able to deliver events in the safest possible way at Emirates Old Trafford and whilst it’s not confirmed, we would be very interested in running a pilot event with one of our clients before the Thursday 1 October.”

The Prime Minister confirmed that this decision would depend on data and that Local Authorities would have powers to close events if there was a danger to public. We welcome this devolution of powers as we have an excellent relationship with the responsible authorities in Trafford and particularly Trafford Council, Trafford Public Health and our local Safety Advisory Group whose support to enable us to stage these international BCD matches has been invaluable.

Commenting on the news, Sales Director, Angela Hodson added: “We’ve welcomed the long-awaited news that we are able to host conferences and exhibitions once more from 1 October.

“The events industry has been put on pause while COVID-19 took its hold of the country, and we are now in a position to start rebuilding such a vital industry for the economy. Although technology has meant we are able to stay connected during this time, the value and importance of face-to-face interaction is something that is irreplaceable.

“With Emirates Old Trafford hosting bio-secure behind-closed-doors cricket at the moment, we have already been able to test and assess the new measures and protocols that have been enforced at the venue to keep staff and visitors safe including thermal and health screening, one way systems, multiple hand gel dispensers, perspex screens, full PPE for staff etc.

“We will be taking every precaution and will thoroughly review all the proposed Government guidelines to ensure that we are as safe a venue as possible for when we are able to reopen our doors for our conferencing clients. With our current status as a live venue delivery partner for the ECB in accordance with DCMS stage 4 sport protocols this effectively makes us “oven ready” as the Prime Minister would say.

“We are looking forward to returning to an albeit new normal and safely welcoming guests back to Emirates Old Trafford.”

We will be providing updates on the procedures and protocols implemented at Emirates Old Trafford ahead of the venue reopening. If you have any questions or would like to speak to our Events Team about booking an event, we are here to help and advise you. Please get in touch with the team on events@lancashirecricket.co.uk.