Isle of Man
Proudly independent Isle of Man, or simply ‘Mann’, sits between Britain and Ireland as a self-governing British Crown Dependency, separate from the UK, but with Queen Elizabeth the head of state.
Its rugged, beautiful topography and unique, ancient Celtic culture is what draws visitors, as well as its attractive economy. Tynwald, the Island’s 1,000-year-old government (and arguably longest continuously existing parliament in the world) makes its own laws. Its policy of offering incentives to technology companies and financial institutions to re-locate to the Island has paid off, and finance now contributes for about 35 per cent of the Manx gross national product. Throw in some tailless cats and the legendary Isle of Man TT motorcycle race and you’ve got an interesting location for both business or leisure.
Name: Villa Marina
Address: Harris Promenade, Douglas, IM1 2HP
Tel: 01624 694 578
Part of a large conference and entertainment centre, Villa Marina can host up to 1,360 delegates and is located in the centre of the Manx capital, Douglas. Originally opened in 1913 on the city’s promenade, it has undergone a £15million refurbishment and now combines its classic Edwardian lines with state-of-the-art conference technology. Old and new settings combine to make flexible meetings space, with the octagonal Royal Hall – seating up to 1,300 people – as the centrepiece. There are also two function suites for smaller conferences: the Promenade Suite and the Colonnade Suite. The 154-seat cinema doubles as a lecture theatre with the latest AV system. Landscaped gardens offer space for marquees.
Name: Castle Rushen
Address: Manx National Heritage, Manx Museum, Kingswood Grove, Douglas, IM1 3LY
Tel: 01624 648000
A medieval fortress in the centre of Mann’s historic capital Castletown, Castle Rushen has plenty of atmosphere and history for those who want to inject a little Manx magic into proceedings. The castle’s origins can be found in the Norse period but it was developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th centuries. Nowadays bespoke private functions can be held on either the Medieval or 17th Century floors, holding 70 or 60 guests respectively. Alternatively, the whole castle can be hired out for up to 160 people.
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Name: The Isle of Man Business Centre
Address: Capital House, Circular Road, Douglas
Tel: 01624 654345
The Isle of Man Business Centre opened in February this year and features eight meetings spaces ranging from the Business Lounge, which accommodates up to 60, to smaller meeting rooms or office spaces for between six and 20 delegates. Meeting rooms all enjoy natural light and broadband internet access. Equipment includes PA systems and plasma screens, along with white boards and flip charts. The centre provides a concierge service and there is also an affiliated restaurant, bar and coffee lounge at the venue.
ON A SHOESTRING
Name: Cherry Orchard Aparthotel
Address: Bridson Street, Port Erin, IM9 6AN
Tel: 01624 833811
Situated in the picturesque fishing village of Port Erin in south Mann, the Cherry Orchard Aparthotel is a three-star self-catering property with extensive leisure amenities, as well as MICE facilities. The Cherry Tree Suite or Chequers Lounge can both be arranged in a theatre, classroom, boardroom or reception-style for up to 80 or 100 delegates respectively. Fixed PA systems, audio-visual equipment as well as projectors, flipcharts and whiteboards are on offer, and technicians are on-hand if needed. As well as the self-catering accommodation, the hotel also features a swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and gym.
Name: International Business School
Address: The Nunnery, Old Castletown Road, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM2 1QB
Tel: 01624 693700
The Isle of Man International Business School (IBS) is conveniently located close to the centre of Douglas and, although housed in 19th century mansion The Nunnery, provides light and spacious, purpose-designed meeting rooms. There are ten rooms in total from which to choose, ranging from boardrooms for 12 to reception halls capable of hosting up to 100 delegates. All rooms offer a range of high-tech AV and IT equipment, telephone points and natural lighting. The IBS offers a bespoke service including full-day, half-day or evening hire, and there are discounts for multiple and long-term bookings. Optional extras include a catering service and technicians that can be hired to help ensure events run smoothly. The grounds of The Nunnery Estate are also available for marquee functions, filming and receptions.
SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED
Address: Ballaheaney, Andreas Road, Andreas,
Isle of Man, IM7 4EN
Tel: 01624 880318
Brightlife offers a ‘Corporate Calm’ initiative which combines a traditional venue in a rural setting with modern day comforts and facilities. The Brightlife Ballalheaney country house provides luxury accommodation for overnight stays. A conference room hosts 20-30 for boardroom or theatre-style set-ups; the dining room has space for up to 14 people and the conservatory is purely a dining venue for 12. A choice of syndicate and breakout areas are available, from the courtyard area and conservatory to the comfortable lounge areas. AV facilities have recently been updated and include plasma screens. After some ‘blue sky’ thinking, there’s also the chance to unwind in the floatation suite or indulge in a little sound or massage therapy. Team-building activities are also available.
ISLE OF MAN INFORMATION
Airlines serving the Island are Aer Arann (from Dublin and London City), Flybe (from Birmingham, Gatwick, Manchester, Luton, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bristol), Manx2 (from Belfast, Blackpool, Leeds Bradford, Gloucester, Newcastle, Anglesey and Jersey), easyJet (from Liverpool) and Blue Islands (from Jersey and Guernsey). The Man Steam Packet Company operates ferries from several destinations including Liverpool, Dublin and Belfast.