Conference’s £2.5m boost

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SHEFFIELD’S economy is predicted to receive a £2.5m boost as a result of staging the Liberal Democrat spring conference next month.

Preparations are being finalised for the event that will attract around 2,000 delegates to the City Hall from March 11 to 13 – and, it is expected, major demonstrations in the home city of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Andrew Wiseman, chairman of the Liberal Democrats’ Conference Committee, said: “The event is on a smaller scale than the autumn conference, which around 7,500 of our 70,000 party members attend, but should be a significant boost for the local economy.

“Independent research following our spring conference in Birmingham last year found it boosted the local economy by £2.5m. We are expecting the same thing to happen in Sheffield.”

A decision on bringing the conference to Sheffield was made before the Lib Dems joined the coalition government and police are firming up their plans to cope with predicted protests.