Historic renovation and expansion of Rhodes House completed and welcomed into the Venues of Excellence Consortium


Venues of Excellence (VOE), the UK’s leading consortium for independent venues, prides itself on its collection of diverse, unique and historic venues, and its latest addition Rhodes House is no exception. This is one of the most exciting brand-new conference and event spaces to be launched in the UK and is providing spaces to bring people together for discussions, collaboration, celebrations, delicious food and good company.

The Rhodes Trust, an educational charity which oversees the world-renowned Rhodes Scholarships at the University of Oxford and several other global fellowship programmes, has completed the redevelopment of Rhodes House, following a £38 million renovation project. The restoration of the historic Grade II* listed Rhodes House in central Oxford received planning consent in August 2020 and works started later that autumn. The redevelopment doubles the usable space in the House.

Mandy Jennings CEO, Venues of Excellence commented: “We were blown away with the ambition of this exciting renovation and expansion project at Rhodes House.  An organisation who are dedicated to quality and excellence are a perfect fit for our consortium. Rhodes House now includes a new 300-capacity, state-of-the-art conference centre to host events. The space can be separated into three smaller conference areas and uses the latest in digital infrastructure and technology to allow audiences from around the world to participate and collaborate virtually. The gardens have also been completely redesigned by Christopher Bradley-Hole, one of the world’s most influential landscape designers.”

Norman Meyer, Head of Conference and Events on joining the consortium said: “We are absolutely delighted to join forces with Venues of Excellence. Since its opening in 1929, Rhodes House has been an Oxford landmark, a historic country house in the heart of the city. Following our substantial multi-year renovation project, the historic surroundings of Rhodes House now blend seamlessly with the newest conferencing facilities in Oxford. We are looking forward to working closely with Venues of Excellence to showcase this remarkable venue to new clients.”

Rhodes House work closely with VOE’s Preferred Partner Wilson Vale who commented: “Wilson Vale is honoured to be the preferred catering partner of Rhodes House. Our collaboration with Rhodes House reflects our shared commitment to providing exceptional dining experiences for all events hosted at this prestigious venue. Through our partnership, we bring together culinary expertise, attention to detail, and a passion for exceeding client expectations. We value the trust placed in us by Rhodes House and are dedicated to delivering market leading catering services that enhance the overall ambiance and satisfaction of every event. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with Rhodes House and contributing to the continued success of their events.”

The University of Oxford Examination Rooms and Said Business School are already key members of the VOE family, and adding Rhodes House into the portfolio gives conference and event planners a great choice of fabulous venues within the heart of Oxford, steeped in history, with contemporary space to host exceptional events.