Following a multi-million-pound refurbishment of The Venue at Woburn Forest, Center Parcs has now swung open the doors of The Venue at Sherwood Forest to reveal an even more ambitious transformation. Corporate Events Sales and Commercial Manager Julia Green shares her thoughts on what this £7 million investment means for conferences and events in the forest, and what’s next for Center Parcs.
We’re beyond excited to have both of our conference venues back open for business together, for the first time since COVID. With our two central locations – one in the Midlands, and one closer to London – we’ve made it easy for organisers across the country to book Center Parcs for their events. Whether you’re planning a daytime event, single night or multi-night stay, it’s convenient and easily accessible for event planners and delegates across the UK.
The sky is your limit at The Venue at Sherwood Forest
And of course, when they get here, they’ve got everything they need all in one place. There’s a variety of accommodation types – from classic and cosy Woodland Lodges to spectacular Treehouses – as well as premium events spaces and facilities, team building activities, restaurants and catering options, Aqua Sana Spa, retail outlets. It really is the whole package, all in the heart of the forest.
The transformation of The Venue at Sherwood Forest is a key part of our strategy, helping us to offer truly unique and unforgettable corporate events in the forest. We’ve reimagined our event space to create an experience that’s really rooted in Center Parcs, immersing delegates in the natural world and capitalising on our stunning woodland and lakeside surroundings.
The 300sqm extension and new layout includes a brand-new atrium-style reception and breakout area overlooking the lake, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering beautiful views over the water and a stone and cedar frontage that’s sympathetic to the forest surroundings. It also includes four new events spaces which are ideally suited for smaller meetings or breakout sessions, new unisex toilets, kitchen, cloakrooms and storage.
From the raindrop lighting in The Green Room to the living wall in the welcome area, the interior design style is inspired by the beautiful forest beyond the windows. We have used natural materials, textures and shapes to bring the outside in. Muted colours, wood, stone, plants, feature lighting and cosy seating come together in harmony to create attractive, welcoming and relaxing spaces for people to enjoy. Delegates can relax outside on the two new terraces, spotting wildlife, watching thrill-seekers whiz down the zipwire and enjoying panoramic views of the forest.
State-of-the-art tech hasn’t been forgotten either
We’ve also made huge investments into state-of-the-art AV, lighting and super-fast Wi-Fi. Each room is individually controlled, with customisable coloured lighting and digital screens that can be personalised with client logos and used to welcome and direct delegates. Every meeting room includes an easy-to-use tablet style touchscreen, which controls the projector, screen, lighting and sound/microphone. It can be used in individual room mode, linked to any room combination or for the whole Venue for large-scale events. This allows event organisers to use the space as a blank canvas and create a truly bespoke and branded feel for their events.
We’ve also created a dedicated conferences and events car park (with over 100 EV charging spaces) and improved the signage directing delegates from the car park to The Venue, making the experience even more easy and enjoyable. What better way to kickstart your event than with a leisurely stroll through the woodland?
The Venue is ECOsmart accredited
We’ve also made sure that our new event space is as eco-friendly as possible, in line with our ambitious sustainability strategy. Sherwood Forest retains the ECOsmart GOLD sustainability accreditation, which we were awarded following a rigorous audit by Greengage Solutions in July 2023. The refurbishment includes features such as water refilling stations and motion-activated lighting, which we believe will take both Venues closer to Platinum level.
Looking ahead, we’re focusing on creating a real ‘Center Parcs’ experience in our conferences and events offer. We’re working closely with the team at Aqua Sana Spa, and will be offering exclusive hire of our award-winning spa for corporate Twilight Spa sessions. We’re also working with our Leisure teams to introduce exciting team building activities, and we’re looking at using the treelined area beside The Venue at Sherwood Forest for festival style outside dining, silent discos and cinema nights.
After all, Center Parcs is such a beloved brand, and it’s well known that spending time in nature works wonders for your wellbeing – so why wouldn’t we play to our strengths?
We are excited to have Center Parcs Sherwood Forest on the cover of our latest PA Life magazine – the Spring Issue 2024.