Blog Archives

Getting better all the time

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We always ask companies who use our meeting rooms if they would give us some feedback because we always aim to give the best service possible. This quote came out of the blue a few weeks ago but we are particularly proud of it because we know that our customer first approach, combined with state of the art facilities, are second to none. We aren’t a hotel that does conferences; we aren’t an old school building that can be hired out; we are a bespoke centre built for meetings and training. Funded by schools in the area for their own training and event needs, the facility is used extensively by companies large and small when they need a professional environment in which to train staff, meet clients or host events. We have rooms of different sizes for different purposes all the way up to the auditorium which can comfortably hold 120 delegates cabaret style or even 180 theatre style. Such numbers can pose a problem for many venues but we have a FREE onsite car park covered by CCTV that can hold far more cars than we have chairs!Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 14.22.45

Catering can be provided in-house (feedback has been exceptional for this) or through local hospitality companies who we work closely with.

Each room has projection facilities, flip charts, and a computer and we pride ourselves on having our own network manager to ensure that technical difficulties do not get in the way of why you have booked at the centre. 100Mb wifi is free to users of the centre, in fact we don’t charge any extras for use of the sort of facilities that we would expect to see in a meeting/conference room. Some of our staff are experienced trainers themselves, delivering courses and keynotes across the UK and beyond. They know what it is like to turn up to a venue, what the needs of the trainers are and the needs of the delegates. That experience forms the backbone of our service.

Alongside flexible meeting rooms we also have two newly refurbished IT suites with 25 PCs in each. The rooms can even be opened up to provide a giant IT suite for 50 when required. The usual business software packages are installed but we also have a range of specialist software that caters for most needs. The suites are bolstered by a trolley of brand new laptops meaning that any room can be a suite when required. Our centre also has a mini suite of 20 iMacs that can be used flexibly in a range of rooms.

The auditorium is a fabulous space that is used for everything from large scale conferences (often using our meeting rooms for ‘breakout’), as an exhibition space, to the R&C Council Chamber for 18 months! It has a range of seating plans, staging (including light rig systems) and even studio recording options that can be streamed to a live web channel. The new vinyl flooring has created opportunity for a much wider range of activities than previously with fitness groups and a local Church already taking advantage of it. We have just developed new daily and half-day rates for all of our room charges to give better value to the way that our customers like to use the centre.

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The centre is run for NO PROFIT, any money made simply keeps the place running and up to date. Any money made over and above this is returned to schools for the benefit of the students. By booking at Inspire2Learn you are helping local children’s education which we hope makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. In fact many of the businesses that book here also get involved with our schools to help with events aimed at preparing our youngsters for the world of work that they will be growing into. If you would like to support this important aspect of our work (and who wouldn’t?), please get in touch.

Defining the future

IMG_2254What an exciting time it is to be part of Inspire2learn. Our refurbishment is now nearly complete for the year, new furniture, new infrastructure and all new computer systems which means that we really do live up to the often heard comment form clients ‘This is the best business centre in the area’. We are proud of that and will continue to ensure that whatever your needs, a large corporate conference or a small interview room, the experience that you have here will be second to none. Just this week we enjoyed hosting the local Enterprise Team’s Business Forum where around 30 local SME companies gained valuable information that will help them make the best of local opportunities to sustain and grow their businesses. What was pleasing for us was the feedback we got from them about our centre. In fact several asked for further information with a view to using the centre themselves in the near future. Our only regret was the comment ‘We didn’t know such an amazing centre existed on our doorstep’. Well they do now!

We have also updated lots of information on this website so please have a look at the new facilities that we have created, there is something to suit everyone. We have also posted some examples of the sort of work that we do with schools under the ‘What is I2L’ tab. Go and have a nosey.

IMG_1747The response from local businesses for our next school ‘STEM’ day has been wonderful as ever. As many of you may know, the reason that the centre exists is to support schools in giving their children the best start in life. From high quality Early Years support to working alongside the Redcar and Cleveland Careers and Routes into Employment Team we address the issue of ‘what is education for’ in a range of ways. Yes we support the teaching of the curriculum through courses and collaborative events but we also recognise what our young people will need when they leave education and enter the world of work. Often called the ‘soft skills’ we recognise that independence, creativity, resilience and simply turning up on time are what employers will need over and above the certificates of literacy et al. Our STEM days are one of the strategies that we use. Designed to give students the opportunity to do hands on workshops with ‘real world’ people: engineers, coders, electricians, scientists…. whatever really, it doesn’t matter. We want children to see what opportunities are on our doorstep, engage with the people who already do those things and begin to think about their own futures. It is not a hard sell for any particular industry but what is clear from the huge amount of work that we do in schools is that most children have no idea of what possibilities they have for their future careers, and especially on their doorstep. Drive north up the A19 in rush hour any morning. It is often slow traffic but it is moving. Glance over at the southbound carriageway – which could best be described as a temporary car park. There are loads of opportunities both now and being developed through the growing technology on Teesside but how many children know what the possibilities are?

Our next STEM day is on 9th March and has students from two of our local schools working with 8 local STEM ambassadors. If anybody reading this is passionate about the work that they do and would like to give up a day of their time to inspire and enthuse children about it, then please get in touch. Although we have focussed on STEM so far we are planning on extending this to other businesses and industries later in the year so if YOU are interested then please let us know.

Green Shoots event

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Well considering, it was a Thursday night, pouring with rain and people maybe weren’t quite sure what it was that you would be coming to we had a great open evening at the Centre. We had a lovely time meeting the people who were able to come and show them the range of flexible spaces that our centre offers for meetings and events of all types. Many of our visitors had been to the centre before but had simply arrived, signed in, grabbed a coffee and then gone straight to a meeting room. Comments on the night focussed on the possibilities that our venue with free parking and very robust free wifi could offer their business that they’d never thought of before.

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A big hit on the night were the fabulous examples of hospitality that Lillie’s Catering can offer delegates. Sorry if you are hungry but we felt we had to include some images of the samples they had on offer on the evening!

We won’t have this quality of food just lying around every day of the week but if you would like to come and explore our centre then don’t hesitate to come and see us anytime.