theatreThe Green Party of England & Wales’ spring conference in March has been forced to change venue, in order to accommodate the thousands of new members the party has gained over the past few months.

Liverpool Green Party, who are hosting the upcoming conference, reported today that after initially booking St Georges Hall, where a previous Conference has been held, the Greens will now be meeting at the BT Convention Centre (ACC Liverpool), attached to the Echo Arena.

The location of the Conference, in the middle of the Liverpool Riverside constituency, a national target for the Greens, is a clear indication that they are targeting disaffected Labour voters.

Moreover, the venue scores highly on measures of sustainability and accessibility.

The BT convention centre has a 1,350 seat auditorium – far bigger than attendance at any previous GPEW conference, with dining space for an 1,800 people, as well as 18 multi-sized meeting rooms. The attached Echo Arena has a capacity of 11,000. In contrast, St George’s Hall, the previous venue, has a maximum capacity of 800 people.

Cllr John Coyne, leader of the Greens in Liverpool said: “This is the fourth time we’ve brought Conference to Liverpool since I’ve been a Green councillor and the change in venue reflects our huge local and national growth.

“In the last month we’ve seen Labour MPs abstain on the abolition of Trident and a moratorium on fracking. 4 out of 5 Liverpool MPs also supported George Osbourne’s “austerity charter” which commits the country to a further £30 billion of cuts.”

Martin Dobson, Parliamentary Candidate for Liverpool Riverside, a target constituency for the Greens, added: “We now have more than 50,000 national members, with…[nearly] 60,000 if you include the Scottish and Northern Irish Greens. This is many more than either the Liberal Democrats or UKIP and we are Britain’s 4th largest party by membership.”

“We’ve also seen huge growth in Liverpool, increasing to more than 500 local members last week. We are seeing many new members who are active in supporting party campaigns and that is going to make a big difference to our local election challenges to the Labour Party.”

The ‘early bird’ booking deadline for conference has been extended to Friday 13 February, offering 25% off the on-the-door rate. There is a progressive fee structure linked to to members’ annual incomes and there is also a conference access fund for those who can not afford it. The Young Greens also know of cheap hostel accommodation – get in touch.

Josiah Mortimer

About Josiah Mortimer

Josiah Mortimer is a Senior Correspondent for Bright Green, writing on Westminster politics and the Green Party of England and Wales. He was Co-Editor of Bright Green between 2014-15, and is now a Contributing Editor for Left Foot Forward.