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Being driven to offer businesses a stunning meeting and conferencing space has led a leading South West company to invest £350,000 in state-of-the-art facilities – where delegates will also have the added bonus of working while enjoying panoramic views of the Devon countryside.
Land Rover Experience West Country – already known for its unique off road driving challenges in idyllic countryside just outside Honiton – has just unveiled its new meeting and conferencing centre as the latest development in its successful 17-year success story.
The new centre offers businesses and groups easy access to brilliantly flexible facilities, including three different rooms which can be configured in many different ways. There is a 32-seat capacity boardroom or a 45-seat theatre option, including a state-of-the-art audio visual system with a 75-inch interactive screen, plus superfast wi-fi.
The opening of the new suite is the culmination of an 18-month building project, partially funded by the European Union’s Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and also includes breakout areas, air conditioning and free onsite parking at Land Rover Experience West Country’s handy location with easy access from the A30 and within 15 minutes of Exeter.
Andy Summers, Managing Director, is delighted with the latest addition to the facilities he has developed on the site. He explained: “We truly believe we have something distinctive here in terms of the nature of the facilities we can offer and the surroundings in which people can work.
“We have a flexible and affordable series of meeting and conference options and all the while our delegates will look out on this terrific view of the Devon countryside, which we have made the centrepiece of the design work on the suite, so it makes it an enjoyable place to work, as well as offering all you would expect from modern conferencing and meeting facilities.”
The specification for the new build, project delivered by local architects Bean Designed together with chartered building company Whitakers, involved use of locally sourced building materials and upcycling original features and materials wherever possible, ensuring the centre is not only looks great, it has a highly sustainable footprint.
The move into conferencing facilities is already proving a hit with Land Rover Experience’s existing customers too. Action Centred Leadership trainer Trevor Vanstone, of Perspective HR Ltd, the HR and Leadership training specialists, has used Land Rover Experience as a base for courses for nearly a decade.
He commented: “Land Rover Experience is a place where people are carefully and professionally taken out of their comfort zone and grow in confidence as a result – so it always feels right as a leadership training venue. Our recent open course in May was a big hit with the delegates and I can’t wait to run the next course later this year. Unique is an overused word, but if you visit the centre you will see what I mean.
“The new build has elevated it from a great venue to a magnificent one - the right blend of friendly, informal and aspirational. Also, it doesn’t hurt that it is easy to get to, there is plenty of parking, great staff and the catering is outrageous!”
For Andy Summers, opening the centre is but the latest staging post in a journey which has seen him develop from running the family’s dairy farm on the site through to owning and operating one of the South West’s iconic experience businesses, offering driver training and fun days out for corporate and private clients, working closely with the Land Rover brand.
This has seen a four-fold increase in business for Land Rover Experience West Country since those early days when Andy personally created the initial off road experience in woodland he purchased adjacent to the family farm.
“It’s great that the business has developed so well since those early days,” added Andy, “and I see the new conference and meeting centre as a natural extension of what we do already.
“We have lots of corporate clients who work with us for the off road experiences and I know from talking to them they want something which is a ‘step up’ in terms of conferencing facilities. We believe we can now offer them that on site here.”