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Venue hire questions - Cambridge and Chelmsford

Here you'll find answers to questions we're often asked about our conference room hire and meeting room venues.

If you have any other questions and wish to speak to us, please do contact us.

Questions about event room hire in Cambridge and Chelmsford

You can hire a lecture theatre for 400 people or a small meeting room for 16 people, with theatres and classrooms of many sizes in between.

Our spaces are hired out both in and out of term time, subject to availability.

If looking to book an event that falls beyond the current academic year we may not be able to offer availability. This is because most of our spaces are teaching spaces, and therefore we have to wait for university teaching to be booked in first, before we know availability for external venue hire. We do have a small number of rooms that are not used for teaching and can therefore be booked beyond the current academic year. Send us your enquiry and we can advise.

Venue hire is not available on bank holidays and over the Christmas period.

Read more about do you hire space all year round?.

Our normal hours of hire are 8am-10pm. On rare occasions rooms can be hired outside of those hours.

Yes, we offer standard and premium day delegate rates.

Standard day delegate rate
Main meeting room hire
Projector, screen and PC
Flipchart (on request)
Wi-Fi access for all delegates
Arrival tea, coffee, water, mini pastries
Mid-morning tea, coffee, biscuits
Classic Buffet Lunch
Afternoon tea, coffee, water
Cambridge £32.75pp (inc VAT)
Chelmsford £29.75pp (inc VAT)

Premium day delegate rate
Main meeting room hire
Projector, screen and PC
Flipchart (on request)
Wi-Fi access for all delegates
Arrival tea, coffee, water, pastries, fruit
Mid-morning tea, coffee, biscuits
Cold Fork Buffet Lunch
Afternoon tea, coffee, water, freshly baked cookies
Cambridge £38.19pp (inc VAT)
Chelmsford £35.19pp (inc VAT)

Minimum numbers apply to day delegate rates.

Read more about do you offer day delegate rates?.

Yes. Your Event Manager will issue a PIN number prior to your event. Once on campus delegates can then use this PIN number to set up an account for our Ruskin Guest Wi-Fi network.

Yes. All of our classrooms and lecture theatres have both VGA and HDMI ports and we supply cables for both. Presenters who have a Macbook or have a laptop which only has a USB-C port are required to bring the relevant adaptor.

Unfortunately we do not allow customers to provide their own catering. All catering for events must be supplied by ARU’s in-house catering team. View more information on catering.

In Cambridge, our campus is a few minutes from the city centre, and easily accessible by public transport. Unfortunately we do not have any parking in Cambridge, except for Blue Badge holders. Find out more about travelling to our Cambridge campus.

Meanwhile in Chelmsford, our campus is a ten-minute walk from the city centre, train station and main bus station. Chelmsford Park & Ride bus service also stops on campus. We have very limited parking which must be pre-booked. Find out more about travelling to our Chelmsford campus.

Read more about how do i get to the venue?.

Unfortunately we have no parking in Cambridge, but we do have excellent transport links and are easily accessible using one of Cambridge’s many Park & Ride services. Find out more about travelling to our Cambridge campus.

In Chelmsford, there are limited parking spaces for events during business hours which must be pre-booked and are chargeable. Please ask your Event Manager for details. There’s parking on campus for Blue Badge holders; this must also be pre-booked.

At weekends and after 4.30pm on weekdays parking is free at our Chelmsford campus and does not need to be pre-booked for conference hire. If barriers are not already up press the button at the car park barrier for a ticket. Keep hold of your ticket and re-insert this on exit to lift the barrier.

Read more about is parking available at your campuses?.

There are a limited number of disabled parking bays at both campuses for blue badge holders. These must be pre-booked; contact your Event Manager for more details.

All buildings across both campuses are fully accessible with step-free access. We have passenger lifts throughout all buildings which can accommodate wheelchairs, and there are accessible toilet facilities throughout.

Guide dogs are welcome.

In lecture theatres with fixed tiered seating there are a limited number of wheelchair spaces.

Many of our rooms have permanent induction loops. Please let your Event Manager know if you require an induction loop.

In the unlikely event of an accident we must make sure that everyone can be safely evacuated. If an attendee has a disability which could delay evacuation of themselves or others please let us know before your event so that we can agree a personal evacuation plan.

Read more about what facilities are there for disabled customers at aru.

Our Conferences team will be happy to show you around. Please contact us on [email protected] or 01245 683163 (telling us which campus you are interested in) to arrange a viewing.

Yes, we have a loading bay on each campus.

In Chelmsford the loading bay is located in the Chelmer Building on Hoffmanns Way. In Cambridge the loading bay is located in Broad Street. However, please note depending on where your event is taking place on campus there may be easier places to unload. If you plan to make deliveries before your event please tell your Event Manager.

There are a number of hotels in Cambridge to choose from to suit a range of budgets. The nearest hotels are:

  • The Gonville Hotel (five-minute walk)
  • University Arms Hotel (ten-minute walk)
  • Premier Inn Cambridge City East (15-minute walk)
  • Travelodge Hotel Cambridge Newmarket Road (12-minute walk)

Or search for available hotels in postcode CB1 1PT.

Read more about where can i stay nearby in cambridge?.

There are a number of hotels in Chelmsford to choose from to suit a range of budgets. The nearest hotels are:

  • Best Western Atlantic Hotel (one-minute walk)
  • Premier Inn Chelmsford (five to ten-minute walk)
  • The County Hotel (ten-minute walk)
  • Riverside Inn (12-minute walk)

Or search for available hotels in postcode CM1 1SQ.

Read more about where can i stay nearby in chelmsford?.

We have no dedicated cloakroom or storage facilities. Your Event Manager can book an additional room for your event for use as a cloakroom or storage, subject to availability and at an additional charge.

Yes, you can take photographs and film in your hired spaces only. It is not permitted to photograph or film people without their permission. If you plan to photograph or film as part of your event please make your Event Manager aware.

See our standard terms and conditions. We usually invoice after an event has taken place. However, for high-value events, or for new customers with no credit history we may ask for a deposit or full pre-payment. We may also vary the cancellation terms for large or high-value events. Please check with your Event Manager for details.

Smoking and use of electronic cigarettes is not permitted within buildings. There are designated smoking areas around both the Chelmsford and Cambridge campuses.

Yes, we offer a 10% room hire discount to ARU alumni. Let us know that you're an ARU alumni when making your booking.