YORK is to host the Liberal Democrats’ Spring Conference next year.

The three-day conference, to be held at York Barbican Centre in March, is expected to attract more than 1,000 delegates.

The Novotel Hotel will also be the party conference headquarters for the duration of the event.

VisitYork4Meetings, the conference arm of Visit York, said the conference, which has previously been held in Liverpool, Glasgow and Brighton, was a major coup for the city’s business tourism sector, which already generates £150.9 million for the city’s economy per year. It is estimated the event will boost the city’s economy by more than £600,000.

The decision to hold the conference in York follows VisitYork4Meeting’s York Minster To Westminster showcase, held at the Houses of Parliament in March.

Jane, Lady Gibson, chairman of Visit York, said: “In 2013, Visit York launched a major new offensive to put York on the map for business events.

“Winning this bid demonstrates how far we have come and we will continue to punch above our weight to ensure events and conference organisers see York as one of the most attractive cities in the UK in which to do business.”

Laura Freer, business tourism manager for VisitYork4Meetings, said: “Political conferences attract a vast amount of media interest, and York will benefit from this exposure.

“Already recognised as one of the UK’s top leisure destinations, this conference will help put York on the map for business events.”

Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “I’m delighted that the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference will be held in York for the first time next year.

“We’re helping to create new jobs all around the country and York is not only a beautiful city, but it’s also a great place to do business. I’m sure all our delegates will enjoy a great conference and a great stay in York.”