AS ITS stained glass windows dapple light on state-of-the art facilities, one of Saddleworth’s most unique conference and wedding venue, is celebrating its fifth year of business.
Talking Point Conference and Exhibition Centre was created when St Paul’s Church in Scouthead underwent a £2.5million conversion to offer innovative facilities.
While keeping some original features of the 1889 church, the centre’s bright and spacious redevelopment gives it an edgy and modern feel – something Events Manager Adele Buckley believes has helped its success.
“People like to see the church features are still there, that we kept them to be part of a building people enjoy using,” said Miss Buckley, 25, of Lees.
Since opening five years ago, Talking Point has developed to incorporate six suites over two floors, which are ideal for conferences and meetings for four to 70 people.
All its individually designed rooms boast quality equipment, Wi-Fi, and sound proofing, and there are conference receptions, and lounge areas to accommodate guests.
And the Viewpoint Café Bar – which has a panoramic view of the atrium – and The Terrace have award-winning chefs to tickle visitors’ taste-buds at lunches and events.
Popular with the council, schools, housing associations, and local businesses, the centre even recently hosted delegates from America and Canada.
The blossoming young business has taken on new staff to deal with its demands, with a part-time Events Supervisor joining the Events Supervisor, Events Manager and weekend staff.
But its largest success has come through an avenue that was not even planned at the company’s birth – weddings.
“When we originally opened, there wasn’t a plan to have weddings,” revealed Miss Buckley, who joined four-and-a-half years ago as Conference and Banquet Co-ordinator.
“But we took them on after a lot of interest and it’s really taken off. To deal with the demand, we even had to change one of the meeting rooms into a bar.
“We cater for everything at the wedding ceremony right through to the reception and we hope to become known across the community as a wedding venue.”
And the company is already pushing for more progress as it looks ahead to the next five years.
“All this success has come from the team as the commitment and dedication of the staff has been wonderful,” she added.
“Over the next five years we hope the centre will continue to grow as much as it has in the last five years.”
Find out more about Talking Point’s facilities and public events on their website: http://thetalkingpoint.com.