News and events archive 2004 - 2013


Steve Crawford

Conference Centre Director Appointed

Steve Crawford will take up the new role of Conference Centre Director for College Hall on 9 July 2012

Steve will be joining the university in July to start work on the exciting new project of transforming College Hall from its previous role of a student hall of residence into an all year round 127 bedroom conference centre which is due to open in autumn 2013

Steve started his career in hotels and his first experience of working in a university came when he was appointed as Assistant Catering & Conference Manager at Queens’ College Cambridge.

He then moved on to Portsmouth Polytechnic for 5 years which involved making best commercial use of the 1200 beds and the management of all self catering halls.

He then joined the University of Warwick and during his 16 years at Warwick he managed two of their conference centres and for the last 6 years was Deputy Director on the main campus. At the time Warwick had in excess of 5,000 bedrooms and departmental turnover in excess of £30m. It was at Warwick that he was actively involved on a number of capital projects ranging from new student halls (600 beds) extensions to one of the centres that he managed and a complete refurbishment of the main social building for students, staff and conferences.

In 2002 Steve was appointed as Conference Centre Director at Missenden Abbey. Quite a contrast to his previous role in terms of size. The Abbey is a Grade II listed building and as a 57 bedroom conference centre presented a new set of challenges and indeed opportunities.

In November 2011 Steve joined the University of Sheffield as Head of Commercial Services and during this brief time there was involved on the planned closure of the main social building in readiness for a £20m investment, securing permission to extend the existing non-residential conference centre into a residential facility planned to open summer 2013, a departmental re-structure and putting in place plans to grow the commercial and conference sales.

Previous roles connected to work have included one of the original Board members for the Higher Education Accommodation Consortium (HEAC) which over many years has evolved into Venuemasters, an organisation designed to promote the facilities found in universities and to generate conference sales. For 7 years Steve was a Board member of Conference Centres of Excellence and during this time was Chairman for 2 years.

Upon being appointed Steve said “ I am delighted to be joining Leicester on the early stage of the journey to create a wonderful new conference centre. I look forward to meeting with colleagues across the university to see how we may be of service in terms of conferences and meetings and of course any social events. I believe the centre will play an important role in supporting the strategic aims of the university and in the challenging times that we all work in will provide a new income stream and return. Working with the Architects and designers we will create a wonderful facility for all at Leicester to be proud of but by far the most important element will be the team that will be created to manage the centre.”

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