BUSINESSES from around the country have been invited to take part in a special event to strengthen bonds between York and London.

The second annual York Minster to Westminster showcase will see buyers from the Royal Society of Medicine, the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and CIPFA (the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy), visit the event, which will feature more than 20 York venues and service providers.

The showcase, at the Houses of Parliament and the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on March 5, will involve local venues including the Jorvik Group – which manages JORVIK Viking Centre, Barley Hall and DIG – Hotel Du Vin, Hilton York, Cedar Court Grand Hotel and York Racecourse, showing what they have to offer to London-based companies.

Laura Freer, business tourism manager at VisitYork4Meetings, said: “We’re building upon the momentum gained last year to deliver an event which will be valuable for both the buyers attending and the venues exhibiting.

“Many of the organisers we’ve spoken to are impressed by the format, and we have benefited from word of mouth and positive recommendation already this year, with 25 buyers confirmed prior to our formal invite being sent.”

As well as British companies, Visit England will bring a group of ten international buyers to the event, which is also sponsored by East Coast Trains.

Last year’s event caused the Liberal Democrats to confirm their 2014 spring conference would take place in York this March.

The conference is expected to contribute more than £600,000 to the local economy.

Rikki Ellsmore, conference manager at CIPFA, said: “This will be a good opportunity to build relationships with York suppliers, including finding out about what is on offer for our next event.

“York is a great location, only two hours from London by train, so I am looking forward to find out more from the team at Visit York.”