Brockholes – Lancashire

Location

Two minutes from Junction 31 on the M6 (Tickled Trout), close to Preston in Lancashire and less than an hour from Manchester, Liverpool and Yorkshire. Train to Preston with bus transfers available.

What's on offer

An eco-events centre literally floating in the middle of a lake, set in 200 acres of beautiful nature reserve, with bags of free car parking. Three super versatile event spaces that can hold up to 130 delegates with exclusivity options and stunning lakeside views. Easy to use, speaker-controlled AV equipment included in the rates.  The chance to sample locally sourced home-made food including Lancashire Hotpot.  Award winning green credentials make this one of the UK’s most sustainable event venues. Need to escape from the “classroom” then take a refreshing nature trail.

Why Book?

We challenge you to find a more beautiful location to hold an event, where the outdoors is indoors, and nature is all around.  Brockholes sustainable credentials are world leading and you’re guaranteed to tick all the green boxes.  Ideal as a location for so many different events from board meetings to creative team building exercises and anything in-between. Very high standards of in-house tech equipment mean your production budget will stretch. Complete flexibility of rates and booking periods – book for an hour or a week.  Staff are genuinely pleased to see you as is Rocky the Robin and all the other amazing animals and birds. And the best thing? All profits from event bookings are invested into The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s conservation work on the nature reserve itself.

STARTER FOR 10:

It’s not every day you go to a Conference Centre and before you’ve even got to the front door a deer jumps across the road just in-front of you, a heron majestically takes flight and a Robin sits on your head!  Rocky’s his name by the way. 

Welcome to Brockholes near Preston.  This, no ordinary event venue but an award-winning, floating conference venue set in the heart of a Lancashire nature reserve. And yes, you did read the word floating – literally in the middle of a lake.  Cross a wooden bridge and you find yourself on an island in-between a cluster of eco-buildings, the Meadow Lake Conference Suite nestled amongst the reeds perfectly at one with nature. 

Brockholes is owned and managed by The Lancashire Wildlife Trust and has got so much going for it.  Step inside the Lobby and you are immediately transported into an eco-friendly event centre where you’ll get the warmest of welcomes.  Timber walls and ceilings cleverly brings the outside inside and then as you move further into the building, wow! Check out the floor to ceiling windows of the main conference suite aptly named the Reeding Room where up 130 delegates can’t fail to be blown away by the panoramic lakeside views. 

Pop around the corner and discover a room for small meetings perfect for 20 people.  Don’t be fooled by its name – The Den – as it too has high quality AV equipment built in as standard and would be an innovative location for a senior management away day or Board meeting, where you need to get away from 21st century life. 

Brockholes does quiet and reflective very well indeed. If focus and no distractions are the order of the day that’s no problem with only the occasional swan serenely gliding passed the window.  With locally sourced food guaranteed to tickle your taste buds, exciting nature trails everywhere, this sustainable, friendly ‘oasis’ is the perfect place to get those creative juices flowing in a relaxed and stimulating environment.

WHY SO SPECIAL?

MORE EVENT OPTIONS THAN YOU CAN SHAKE A STICK AT 

We counted up the different types of events that Brockholes has held in recent months and gave up after 10.  Breakfast meetings, networking events, away days, product launches, staff training, team building, board meetings, conferences, receptions, exhibitions. You get the idea.  The onsite event team know their stuff, are extremely helpful and are completely flexible in how they operate listening and then putting your needs into action. And it doesn’t matter what organisation you are.  Corporate retailers, the NHS, charities, local networking groups and school groups all feel at home and yes, one with nature.

SUSTAINABLE, GREEN AND PROUD OF IT 

Some venues ‘play’ at being green.  They know who they are and could learn a thing or two from visiting Brockholes.  Where to start? The conference buildings themselves have been awarded several accolades for sustainability including the prestigious architectural accreditation BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and awarded a Green Tourism Gold Award, which confirmed that Brockholes was an extremely sustainable destination. 

Without getting too technical, it is worth noting that the Conference Centre incorporates the highest environmental standards and has been designed to make the most of all resources.  Heating is provided by a high efficiency, low emission biomass boiler burning locally-sourced wood.  Buildings are extremely well insulated to keep them warm in winter and cool in summer. Lighting automatically dims and/or turns off when there is enough daylight, or the event spaces are unoccupied. 

As you would expect, all cardboard, plastic and glass is recycled and what little food waste there is, is composted.  We particularly loved the little eco reminder touches. Pens and notepads are recycled, and table coasters made out of recycled tyres.  You really will feel that by holding an event at Brockholes you’re doing your bit to protect the planet.  David Attenborough would be proud.  

BEIGE DEFINITELY OUT!  HOTPOT IN 

The vegan food revolution may be at its height according to the media, but Brockholes has been ahead of the game for a long time offering a range of vegetarian and vegan food options without waiting to be asked by the conference organiser.  Beige food is definitely out.  What’s in is a range of freshly prepared delicious food options using the best of Lancashire’s produce. Choose from a three-course meal, buffet, barbecue or even hog roast. Visiting in the Winter, then you will be comforted by the comfort food, lasagne, curry and the one that gets our vote, the delicious hotpot. Betty would be impressed.

GOOD TO KNOW!

  • HOTEL NEAR BY – many of Brockholes clients attend events over two or more days.  Excellent overnight deals are available at the Salmesbury Hotel just a five-minute coach transfer away. 
  • EXCLUSIVITY OF VENUE – is available on request which enables access to the Reedbed Restaurant and much large group size options.  The Reedbed is being refurbished early in 2019 – we hope the log burning fire will still be there! 
  • FREE CAR PARKING – just give your delegates car registration number and the daily charge is waivered. 
  • LOOK OUT FOR SPECIAL OFFERS – Keep your eyes peeled for seasonal special offers.  These can include free tea and coffee on arrival and up to 20% off day delegate packages based on a minimum of 30 delegates. 
  • GO TO THE NEST GIFT SHOP – an Aladdin’s Cave of nature linked gifts.  Delegates attending events get a 10% discount voucher. 
  • GET ENTHUSED AT THE VISITOR CENTRE – there’s so much more to find out from the highly enthusiastic volunteers that you will have to come back again to fully explore this great nature reserve. 
  • ICE ICE BABY – Perhaps not one for the middle of winter, but if we have another Summer like 2018, then head to Coots Ice Cream Parlour – you can even use the space as a breakout area – yum! 
  • ONE DAY – magnificent Ospreys have been spotted at Brockholes!  They haven’t decided to nest yet, but hopes are high.  And when they do, plans are already in place for live camera action so everyone can see the chicks close up.

BEAR IN MIND…

  • THIS IS AN OPERATIONAL NATURE RESERVE – in winter the wooden access bridges can be a bit slippy.  Salt is obviously not good for the local wildlife, so grit is used which is not quite as effective.  Top tip, chose your footwear carefully or why not bring your welly’s if it’s wet so you can go exploring? 
  • WATER WATER EVERYWHERE – Fairly obvious but as you’re in the middle of a lake, just watch your step.  The lake is not particularly deep, but you’ll still get wet. 
  • CAR PARK A SHORT WALK – there is no car parking immediately outside of the Conference Centre.  It’s just a three-minute walk so perhaps bring a brolly if it looks like rain. 
  • M6 NOISE – sometimes you may hear the hum of the motorway if the wind is in a particular direction, it won’t though detract from your overall experience.

ANYTHING ELSE?

If you are an organisation having seen the wonders of Brockholes at an event and want to get involved there are a number of corporate opportunities available, from sponsoring an event to group volunteering and membership of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.  Drop a line to corporate@lancswt.org.uk to find out more. 

meetingsclub shout out to Danny P.  An absolute legend and someone who gets that Service is the Secret.  Big smiles and friendly welcome, Danny is everywhere!  Meeting and greeting guests on arrival, showing you where to go, tracking down people who lose things and a real font of knowledge about everything there is to know.  Ask him what happened in the Summer, it’ll make you laugh. 

Lastly, reference must be made to ‘Rocky’ the Robin.  Whilst walking on the pontoon and admiring the reflection on the lake of the Conference Centre, who landed on my head?  Rocky!  He stayed with me, talked about his family and of course Brockholes and then posed for photographs and video footage.  It was just such a touching, uplifting experience that made me realise this is no normal venue.

IT’S A WRAP – SERVICE IS THE SECRET

No pun intended, but you might not automatically think that a nature reserve could be a natural place to do business.   But it is.  Everyone we met was professional, relaxed and importantly friendly.  It felt like one big family living in what is a most beautiful setting.  The facilities are right up there in terms of what you would expect from a modern conference and meeting facility. 

Brockholes really is different.  What might start out with colleagues as a possible wild card suggestion for your next event, should most certainly not be wild for long.  We suggest that you check this place out for yourself.  Go and see Rocky, he’ll tell you all about it, along with Donald the Duck and Serena the Swan.  True Animal Magic.