Conference boost for town economy

A RELIGIOUS conference which has become a permanent fixture on Eastbourne’s booming conference calendar has already sold out – two months before it takes place.

Mission Worship has been held in the town for the last eight years and is part of a string of similar events which are estimated to generate around £4million for the local economy.

This year it once again takes place at Devonshire Park, with almost 2,000 delegates expected to flock to the coast between November 25 and 27 – providing a welcome post-summer season boost to local businesses.

A stack of guest speakers are lined up and bookings for Mission Worship have already been stopped after the three-day showcase sold out in record time.

Its director Stephen Doherty said, “We are very pleased that our 2011 conference has now sold out and we look forward to bringing more than 1,700 delegates to Eastbourne.

“The conference organisers are really pleased with the continued support from the Eastbourne venue over the years and the excellent amenities the town has to offer delegates.”

A host of other events taking place locally over the next few months will see more than 8,000 visitors coming into the town, encouraging spending in local businesses and filling local hotels and guesthouses.

Eight major conferences will take place at the Devonshire Park Centre this autumn, including Rotary 1130’s bash, which has been coming to Eastbourne for almost 30 years.

Eastbourne Borough Council’s head of tourism, Councillor Neil Stanley, was delighted the town was building on its traditional seasonal pulling power by adding conferences to its arsenal.

He said, “What a great conference season we are looking forward to in Eastbourne bringing a brilliant boost to the local economy.

“Our conference trade is important for bringing visitors into Eastbourne during the shoulder months and makes excellent use of the venues at Devonshire Park in between major shows.”

Mission Worship follows hot on the heels of the UK Independence Party’s annual meet-up.

Plans are now being considered to possibly develop the Devonshire Park Centre’s conference facilities in a bit to attract more big name events over the next few years.