UK Event Resources
We having been running a variety of events for some time and find ourselves updating the same documents for each event. We thought it might help other event organisers if we shared some of our standard documents and templates with you. You are welcome to use these, but do amend them to your own circumstances/event. Nothing on this page or in these documents can be taken as legal advice, including health & safety, discrimination etc.
Template Policies & Documents
Risk Assessment (coming soon)
We also use Access Cards at some events. These should always be optional for attendees, rather than "proof" of a disability. We don't think it is good practice to ask disabled people to wear "access badges". Non specific access badges are not actually communicating what the need is, so are of limited help. We hope that all volunteers/crew/staff at an event will take the time to listen to an individual who is asking for assistance without a visible indication of disability and believe the information they are given without proof. However sometimes there are barriers to communicating access needs and so we produce credit card sized access cards. These can be carried without being displayed and brought out to communicate with a team member or another attendee when they need assistance. The wording on these cards indicates the need, not the disability, as disabled people should not have to give medical information to communicate what assistance they need. There are example wordings in the templates section below.
We carry out risk assessments for all our events. These ideally cover all the activities taking place at the event and what measures we need to take to minimise risk. The measures to be taken are communicated, where appropriate, with volunteers and attendees.
Venues and Access Audits
We have put together a list of hotels that have recently been used for conventions, this is not a complete list.
If none of these suit your needs you may be able to find other options via https://www.conferences-uk.org.uk/
We think it is good practice to provide your attendees with an Access Audit. This sets out the physical properties of the building and its accessibility, not what you are planning to do in the space. We have written our own, but also linked to third-party site where these are available, as well as linking to the venue website. Our information may be out of date and you should contact the venue to check before relying on anything.
Birmingham Hilton Metropole – The venue is large and spread out. Most of the function rooms are accessible, the mezzanine rooms are not. One of the main corridors has a set of stairs halfway down it and these are steps into the bar area meaning people in wheelchairs have to take a longer route to get to certain places – this may be fine for powered wheelchairs and scooters, but can be less helpful for manual wheelchairs and those with limited mobility who struggle with stairs. Restaurants are about 0.5 miles away at Resort World, these are often busy and so require pre-booking. It is worth noting, that despite its name, this venue is not in central Birmingham. It is a short train ride into the city centre. It has a large above ground car park with designated blue badge spaces. It has good public transport links and is adjacent to an airport.
Birmingham Leonardo Royal – It has good accessibility, all the function rooms are on the same floor and 4 large lifts go to all levels. It is in the centre of Birmingham, so has good access to shops and restaurants. It is difficult to navigate to in a car due to the one way streets. The train station is less than a mile away and has good public transport links. It is inside the Birmingham Emission zone. An older van would cost £16 per day for driving in this zone.
https://www.accessable.co.uk/birmingham-city-council/access-guides/leonardo-royal-hotel N.B. The hotel reception is now step free.
Brighton Double Tree by Hilton Metropole – The front entrance is accessible by ramp for manual wheelchairs and smaller mobility scooters. Larger mobility scooters need to come in via a side entrance. People coming from the car park will also come in via a side entrance. The (lower) ground floor function rooms, bar and breakfast room have step free access from the lobby. Other levels are accessible via a lift. There are some rooms that are not accessible to wheelchair users at all, that would require use of a goods lift or going outside of the hotel and coming in a different way. The accessible function rooms are spread across 3 floors, but once on that floor are close to each other. The car park has height restrictions. It has good public transport links to London Airports.
Bristol Double Tree by Hilton – It is close to a main train station and has on site parking. The venue is inside Bristol’s clean air zone, an older van would cost £9 per day to drive in the zone.
Buxton Palace Hotel – The front door has steps leading up to it and the pavement of the road into the town is also stepped. The venue is adjacent to a train station. It is not close to an international airport.
Chester Queen Hotel – The front entrance is stepped, so all wheelchair access is via an alternate entrance, this is the same entrance that would be used by those arriving in the car park. The Car park is a reasonable size and close to the hotel. It is opposite the station so has good public transport links. The ground floor function rooms have step free access, The first floor rooms are accessed by a single lift and stairs.It is not particularly close to an international airport.
The venue is undertaking renovations in 2024, so information about the hotel prior to this may be out of date.
Hammersmith Novotel – It has a variety of function rooms and lift to every floor. It has good public transport links to London Airports. The car park has height limits. It is inside the London Emission zone which limits the type of vehicle you can drive there in. An older van would cost £100 per day for driving in this zone.
Harrogate Hilton – The website says it does not have “van accessible parking” which suggests there is a height limit on parking. It is less than a mile from the station. It is not near an international airport. It is in a town centre so has access to shops and restaurants.I am told that to get a wheelchair accessible route between different sections of the hotel you would have to go round outside of the hotel, which would be impacted by the weather.
Heathrow Raddison – The venue is quite spread out and a little maze like. There is car parking adjacent to the hotel. There is one pub close by, other restaurants are further away and quite spread out from each other. This venue has good links to Heathrow airport. It is inside the London Emission zone which limits the type of vehicle you can drive there in. An older van would cost £100 per day for driving in this zone.
Manchester Hilton – Some of the smaller rooms might not be usable once it is set up to accommodate the turning circle of a mobility scooter. It is in Manchester town centre and has good transport links and access to shops and restaurants. There is a plan to bring in a low emissions zone in Manchester, but this is currently on hold.
Milton Keynes Kents Hill - This venue is some distance from the centre of Milton Keynes and about a mile from the shops and restaurants at Kingston.
Northampton Sedgebrook Hall - This hotel has some inaccessible function rooms (up stairs, no lift) and others are only accessible to wheelchair users only by taking an outdoor route. This is in a village away from Northampton town itself. There is one pub next door, other facilities are further away.
Scarborough Grand and Royal Hotels – These hotels can be used as separate venues or as a combined split venue. A split venue is not ideal for accessibility, the shortest route between the venue uses stairs as the location is sloped. A longer step free route is available. A number of the function rooms in the Royal hotel are only accessed via stairs.There are restaurants and shops nearby as it is in the town.
Telford International Conference Centre - Conference Centers often have the downside of not having on site accommodation and this is true in this case.
If you would like to add any UK venues to our list or update the information here, do get in touch