May 23: How a conference venue would benefit Leeds

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From: Paul Kilroy, Lawnswood, Leeds.

IS THERE a reason for Leeds not hosting conferences? Again, I note, Liverpool hosts the National Union of Teachers, following the Lib Dems. We have the Arena, town hall and the Armouries – but where is the will?

We might also use Temple Newsam and, by permission, Harewood House. What venues could be more impressive and conducive to our renown?

Harrogate built a dual conference/entertainment centre (original estimate £6m, final cost £26m) in 1975. One can hardly exaggerate the benefits from such a facility. We already have German and Spanish-
made rail rolling stock on the Airedale Line and currently the London-Oxford electrification project is funded by a German company.

A rental or profit-sharing scheme, or an agreement to allocate permanent free advertising and display space, or a straight loan, in return for construction (local labour) and maintenance are all possibilities.

After the Tours de France and Yorkshire, our euro currency value is good. As a progressive city, our credit is good. We could easily and quickly repay a loan (£50m) and create a local boom in the retail and hotel sectors. The business sector fall-out is incalculable.