Julia Corkey is set to take over the top role at Northern Ireland’s only purpose-built international convention centre in July, returning to her native Northern Ireland following two decades spent in Westminster City Council.
Generating destination appeal and delivering word-class customer experiences for the city of Belfast will be Julia’s priority as she prepares to take on the position at the helm of ICC Belfast and two iconic entertainment venues, Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall. Following the commercialisation of the venues in 2016, delivering economic impact through the attraction of large-scale business events has been the organisation’s strategic focus. This has proven incredibly successful with the 7000m² facility successfully hosting its largest event to date in 2018, the Royal College of Nursing Annual Congress, as well as conferences for global corporations such as AstraZeneca. The combined economic impact of events held during this period has been worth over £100m to our city and it is predicted that business events will play a key role in our long-term economic sustainability and recovery post COVID-19.
Over twenty years with Westminster City Council precede Julia’s appointment where she most recently held the role of Executive Director of Policy, Performance and Communications. Having originally joined the local government organisation in 1998 to manage the millennium programme, Julia then went on to hold a number of high-level policy and communication roles and is also one of the founding directors of the award-winning communications agency, Westco. Commenting on the upcoming return to her hometown Julia Corkey said:
“I have spent more than two decades helping to market Westminster as an international centre for investment and tourism. It is a privilege to return to my native Northern Ireland and use that experience to ensure our fantastic international convention centre and entertainment venues are in the premier league of international, regional and local attractions."
At the heart of Belfast we have an unrivalled proposition of world-class conference facilities and cultural venues bringing in the biggest names in the arts. Working with the outstanding team, my priority will be to prepare to return this business to its role as an engine of the Northern Irish economy.
Ellvena Graham OBE, Chairman of the BWUH Ltd. Board of Directors welcomed the appointment saying: “Over the past five years we have witnessed transformational change within the organisation and the wealth and breadth of experience that Julia brings will put us in a position of strength as we embark on the next stage of our journey."
In these unprecedented times, the team is focused on business preparedness to ensure Belfast retains its status as a unique, vibrant and flourishing entertainment and conference destination. I look forward to seeing the impact that Julia’s skills and expertise will have on our pursuit to be recognised as world-class in the entertainments and conferencing sectors.