About Us

We are a dedicated team working together to provide excellence as our standard to all of our clients

Our values derive from our mission to be of value and benefit to the local Torbay community, so we are constantly striving to enhance our products and services.

Within the Riviera International Conference Centre you will find not just leisure facilities, but also dedicated function facilities able to look after every type of event, from dinners, weddings, concerts, parties, exhibitions, banquets and meetings to large conferences.

Our business is diverse, as are the needs of our customers. For whatever reason you visit the RICC, we wish you an enjoyable experience.

 

History How did it all start?

The English Riviera Centre (ERC) came into existence after Torbay Council, working with the Tourism Industry in the late 70s early 80s, saw an opportunity to extend the 10-week holiday season by promoting conferences and events.

The main venues at the time were the Town Hall, the Princess Theatre and the Festival Theatre. These facilities failed to meet the expectations of delegates and conference organisers in comparison with other venues which were being developed, such as the Harrogate International Conference Centre.

A working group of leading hoteliers and councillors formed to explore different options.

The Murrell family, owners of the Rosetor Hotel, generously donated the hotel plot of land to the Council as a potential site for a new centre. This gift is commemorated in the naming of the ground floor meeting rooms as the Grace Murrell Suite.

Module 2 designed the building and project-managed its construction from 1984-87, on the former site of the Rosetor and Roselea hotels which had fallen into disuse in the 70s. The project cost approximately £15m and was partly funded by a European grant of £3m.

When the English Riviera Centre first opened in 1987, visitors paid at turnstiles into the lower floor and walked into a hybrid mix of conference auditorium, leisure pool, sports hall, gym, pool room and squash courts.

The Lifestyle Health & Fitness Suite consisted of a 12-station gym with Jacuzzi, steam room, 3 squash courts and just 200 members; today it boasts over 1,500 members and 57 exercise machines.

Changing faces

A mezzanine floor was later introduced to create the Aerobics Studio as part of Lifestyle. The Garden Room Restaurant was reborn as the Bay Brasserie and relocated to the ground floor to create a valuable additional function room (the Rosetor) to accommodate a range of events including weddings.

We said goodbye to Hayley’s Diner and Neptune’s Galley was created as a family eating area overlooking poolside, but has since given way to becoming a spectators area popular with parents during swimming lessons. The Bay Brasserie became the Aqua Lounge in January 2015, shortly after this in June there was a fire at the RICC and the Aqua Lounge was refurbished again after the incident.

The name English Riviera Centre was rebranded to the more professional Riviera International Conference Centre (RICC), although locals still fondly refer to the name of ERC and there was even an Octopus mascot called Eric many years ago.

 

LOCATED IN THE HEART OF THE ENGLISH RIVIERA – SOUTH DEVON'S BEAUTIFUL BAY

Stretching along 22 miles of stunning South Devon coastline, the beautiful English Riviera has been a popular holiday destination for centuries.

Sandy beaches, rocky coves, picturesque harbours and a wonderfully mild climate combine to attract visitors seeking a unique experience.

Visit the official English Riviera Tourism Website for more information about this stunning location.

 

EVENTS THAT WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY

The first major event was the opening weekend Conference and Exhibition in May 1987. This showcased the many activities and businesses of the Bay with a variety of supporting events including a steel band and a visit by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – who still perform at the centre every year. Shortly afterwards, the Centre was host to a major Local Government Conference.

Her Majesty the Queen visited in July 1998 as part of the tercentenary celebrations of the landing of William of Orange at Brixham in 1688.

Several Prime Ministers and political leaders have visited, including Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Paddy Ashdown, and Charles Kennedy.

Leading Sports personalities and musicians have also visited including Van Morrison, Aker Bilk, Muse, McFly, Paul Weller and Jools Holland.

More recently, in 2016 the UNESCO Global Geoparks conference brought delegates from 120 global Geoparks, from 63 different countries and an estimated £1.6 million into the English Riviera, boosting the tourism industry and the resort as an international geological destination.

The RICC continues to host a variety of events, conferences and functions, bringing tens of thousands of people to the Bay every year.

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