Cloth Hall Court

We’re very pleased to announce that the University has acquired a new city centre conference and meeting venue, Cloth Hall Court.

Cloth Hall Court has a very well established reputation as one of the best conference and meeting venues in Leeds. Offering a range of spaces including an impressive reception, multiple seminar rooms and break out areas, and ideally located in the heart of Leeds city centre opposite the train station, Cloth Hall Court will enable the University’s MEETin LEEDS team to provide an entirely new platform for meeting and conference organisers.

Cloth Hall Court

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager at MEETinLEEDS, commented: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming Cloth Hall Court to our roster of venues, and look forward to developing business at the venue and showcasing all that it has to offer”

Dennis Hopper, Director of Campus Development, commented: “The University of Leeds’ conference team pride themselves on high levels of customer service, putting customers at the heart of what they do, and Cloth Hall Court will complement our existing venue portfolio as well as helping to forge new links between the University, the City and our business partners. We are looking forward to working with existing and new customers.”

Inside work space of Cloth Hall Court

The Merchants’ Hall in Cloth Hall Court



Over the past 12 months, all of the team here at MEETinLEEDS have been working hard to make sure that we’re delivering our very best with every single conference, and going above and beyond meeting the needs of our customers.

As 2019 draws to an end, we reflect over some of our most unique and busiest conferences, that have not only made huge impacts within their respective industries, but have also offered pivotal learning opportunities for team to learn and develop from.

Students focus on Sustainability

Kicking off 2019 with a positive start, we were delighted to support an event that saw students unite over the Leeds Student Sustainability Research Conference. Welcoming over 200 attendees, the conference showcased the latest research in cross-disciplinary sustainability studies, as well as offering the opportunity for like-minded students to network and discuss.

Not only was this conference a wonderful opportunity for students to get involved with sustainability research, but the event also perfectly aligns with the University of Leeds’ ongoing strategic commitment to sustainability.

Sustainable Garden

Taking a step back in time with the International Medieval Congress

As the largest humanities congress held across the EU and the largest in medieval studies all over the world, we thoroughly enjoyed welcoming the International Medieval Congress (IMC) onto campus for its 26th year. By working closely with academics within the University of Leeds, we welcomed over 2,000 delegates from across 66 different countries, and brought together medieval experts for a series of discussions, demonstrations and debates. The public were also invited to get involved on its final day, which saw a medieval market serving historically inspired street food, a full medieval craft fair and medieval demonstrations taking place.

International Medieval Congress lampost signage

Photograph taken at the International Medieval Congress

5 July 2018. Thursday at the IMC, University of Leeds.

Summer school for teachers with Teach First Summer Institute

Marking its sixth time in the city, Teach First Summer Institute was a wonderful conference which welcomed over 1,700 trainee teachers, who were all due to start training in schools serving disadvantaged communities across England and Wales. Not only was the conference a fantastic chance for teachers to get together and kickstart the two-year Teach First Training programme, but it also offered a great opportunity for us to work as part of a city-wide collaboration. This involved working closely with our partnership organisers including First Direct Arena and Leeds Beckett University, as well as collaborating with wider stakeholders including LeedsBID, Conference Leeds, Leeds City Council, and many university accommodation providers, to enhance a city-wide approach to the event.

Communication Matters

As the University of Leeds’ Positive Impact Partner, we were delighted to support Communication Matters with the UK’s leading annual Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Conference for the seventh year. Welcoming over 430 delegates from 19 countries, including as far as Japan, the USA and Denmark, the AAC offered a unique forum for representatives to meet and exchange information, including AAC users, parents, personal assistants, professionals and more.

This conference also presented our team with the perfect opportunity to go one step further in the preparation process, by undertaking important face-to-face training with the aim of helping trainees identify ‘good communication’. This event was a perfect demonstration of how we’re able to work in partnership with our conference organisers, whilst providing the best customer experience possible.


We were also extremely proud to support Communication Matters’ very first AAC awards ceremony, which was an evening dedicated to celebrating those within the AAC sector who have made honourable and inspiring contributions to the industry.

AAC Awards sign on TV

Internal successes and celebrations

Conferences and events are what makes us tick, but we wouldn’t have had such a successful year without our incredible team behind us. This year, we were delighted to welcome multiple new starters onto our team who will be enhancing our expertise in digitalisation, internationalisation and sales. This not only extends our offering, but also means that we’re able to further meet the needs of our organisers to the highest possible standard.

What’s more, this year we were also delighted to have been awarded the Customer Service Excellence® standard award as part of the University of Leeds’ Commercial and Campus Support Services, as well as achieving the Best Accessibility award at Academic Venue Awards.


Here’s to looking back on 2019 and going forward to an even more successful 2020!

advent draw

This December, the team have been running a festive advent calendar draw with our colleagues across the Facilities Directorate, with all proceeds going to Leeds Mind. Leeds Mind are one of our chosen charity organisations and we have loved hosting and participating in regular events and activities to raise funds for them over the year.

advent draw

Leeds Mind promotes positive mental health and wellbeing, and provides help and support to those who need it.

The aim of Leeds Mind’s work is to help people build on their strengths, overcome obstacles, and become more in control of their lives. They work to support the people of Leeds in ‘recovering’ from periods of poor mental health and living independently with their mental health condition. They offer a wide range of different services such as counselling and mental health training.

A winner every day

Prizes for each day of the Advent calendar were kindly donated by our suppliers, with star prizes including a Fitbit, Amazon Vouchers, First Direct Arena Tickets, an Alexa, Overnight stays, Afternoon Tea, Christmas Flower Displays, Children’s Toys, and many more.

During the month, we raised a whopping £1320 and had great fun filming the grand reveals! Here are a few of our favourites.








AAC Awards sign on TV

The very first Communication Matters AAC Awards 2019 took place at the University of Leeds on Friday 11th October, as part of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Awareness month. As the first of its kind, the awards ceremony celebrated the individuals,that use all forms of communication, their families, as well as the companies and professionals that provide support in these areas.

screen displaying AAC Awards signage

The evening celebrated nine award categories, crediting multiple winners for their hard work and dedication to the AAC community. The Research Award, which was created to recognise those that have made strides towards valuable research within the AAC sector, was scooped up by Professor Janice Murray due to her highly regarded research projects in the field of language, disability and AAC as well as her successful presentations at international conferences. Runners up of the award include Oliver Wendt and the I-ASC Project, which was managed under the leadership of award-winner Professor Janice Murray.

Janice Murray recieving the Research Award

a table dressed with wine glasses in ambiet light

The Outstanding Community Inclusion award was designed to celebrate those who have made exceptional contributions to AAC use within local communities across the country. CALL Scotland & Scottish Book Trust Partnership are the proud winners of the award, due to their hard work in creating accessible digital versions of the Bookbug Bag; meaning that three books are gifted to every Primary 1 child across the whole of Scotland, making resources for children with communication difficulties easy and accessible. Runners up include Sign Out Loud, who were recognised for the vital service that they provide, that not only enriches the lives of young adults and children with communication needs, but also makes Makaton signing an accessible and fun pastime for the whole of the Lancaster community.

Three women standing with an award

CALL Scotland & Scottish Book Trust Partnership are the proud winners of the Outstanding Community Inclusion award

Group on a stage signing a song in Makaton

Another stand-out category included the Rising Star award, which was awarded to 16-year-old Laith Ritchie for making such a significant impact on the lives of many AAC users over the past 12 months. Since attending the Communication Matters conference last year and listening to the ATmentor team share information about their role, Laith immediately registered his interest in working as an ATmentor himself, and by October 2018, he was volunteering on the team and demonstrating consistent hard work, commitment and an eagerness to learn. Runners up to the category include Amy Hanschell and Jemima Hughes, who showcased exceptional commitment and dedication to the AAC community.

Other awards include:

Setting of the Year Award
• Winner: ACE Centre
• Runners up: SCTCI and 1 Voice



Alan Martin Award
• Winner: John Larkins
• Runners up: Jodie Turner and Oli Cunningham

John Larkin posing with award

AAC Innovation Award
• Winner: Talking Mats
• Runner up: Debbie Jans and CODES


Student Award
• Winner: AT Therapy Mentors Team
• Runner up: Helen Paterson

Jamie Munro Award
• Winner: Anna Reeves
• Runner up: Marion Stanton

Anna Reeves took home the Jamie Munro award

Lifetime Achievement Award
• Paul Hawes

Paul Hawes won the Lifetime Achievement award

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager from MEETinLEEDS, commented: “We’re absolutely thrilled that the very first AAC awards with Communication Matters was such a huge success. It’s wonderful to be able to honour those within the AAC community and we would like to congratulate the many winners from the evening. We look forward to working with Communication Matters on future award ceremonies!”

Helen Whittle, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Communication Matters, commented: “We’re over the moon with the response to the recent AAC Awards ceremony. We believe in celebrating the dedication and commitment of those who work so hard within the AAC sector, and these awards created the perfect opportunity to do exactly that. We’re so grateful for all of the work that MEETinLEEDS have dedicated to the awards ceremony to help it run so smoothly, and we look forward to continuing to celebrate those within the AAC community in future award ceremonies.”

books on a shelf
A photograph taken at the public event at the International Medieval Congress