When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Jobs to go as Masons sell conference centre
9:40am Thursday 5th July 2012 in News
THE Oxford Centre, one of the city’s main conference venues, is to close in September with the loss of eight jobs and sold off.
The centre at 333 Banbury Road in Summertown also serves as the principal base of owners Oxfordshire Freemasons.
The Oxfordshire Masonic Hall Company (OMHC), which blames lack of conference trade for the sale, has exchanged contracts with an undisclosed buyer. It is not yet known whether the building, which sits in 1.3 acres of grounds, will continue to run conferences.
The site was marketed as a ‘major development opportunity’.
OMHC executive director Keith Mitchell said: “We have come to the conclusion that we are not making enough to be able to maintain the building and cover operating costs.
“The competition is fierce at the moment.
“It is particularly hard when you are competing in the conference trade with hotels that can offer bedrooms.”
He said the Masons were looking for a new venue for lodge meetings.