HOTELS in York are filling up ahead of a political conference which is set to boost the city’s economy by more than £600,000.

The Liberal Democrats’ Spring Conference will be held at the Barbican between March 7 and 9, with 1,400 delegates and a huge media pack attending along with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg – the party’s leader - York-born business secretary Vince Cable and other senior political figures.

Visit York – whose conference arm, VisitYork4Meetings, secured the event – said the Novotel, the Lib Dem HQ during the conference, was fully booked, while the Hilton, one of the venues for fringe events, was almost booked up.

Other hotels, B&Bs, guest houses and self-catering businesses have also reported high demand for accommodation and bookings are coming in “on a steady basis”, with those nearest the Barbican filling up first.

Many delegates are understood to be bringing their partners and families, and the conference, being held in York for the first time, has been a major coup for the city’s business tourism sector.

Visit York’s head Kate McMullen said: “We’re delighted the Liberal Democrat Party is holding its prestigious spring conference in York. We look forward to welcoming the 1,400 delegates, senior politicians – including the Deputy Prime Minster – and the UK media. It will be an important opportunity for us to showcase the city as a superb meeting place for conferences and events.”