This welcome announcement means that a new, state-of-the-art arena, exhibition and conference centre will be built at the current site of the Rowett Research Institute at Dyce.
Designed to be a flexible space with a 9,000m2 arena capable of hosting a large range of events including entertainment, exhibitions and sporting events, with an all-seated capacity of 10,000 and an all-standing capacity of 15,000 it will allow Aberdeen to meet the demands for concerts and tours, that AECC, in the past, has not had the capacity to stage. By attracting a larger range of world-class entertainment acts to the region, Aberdeen looks forward to hosting more big name entertainers.
This flexibility, will allow for a wider range of conferences and exhibitions to consider AECC for their upcoming events; with enquiries already coming in for 2019 and beyond. The announcement of the two proposed on-site hotels with potential for a third, offers a minimum of 350 on-site rooms, adding to the almost 50% increase in hotel rooms already planned over the coming years. This will allow Aberdeen to bid for larger national and international events. Having 15,000m2 of flexible exhibition space in the new halls will allow AECC to continue hosting the ever-growing flagship event, Offshore Europe, which has an economic benefit of around £60m for the local area, as well as space to grow other established events such as Subsea Expo.
Brian Horsburgh, AECC’s Managing Director commented: “We are delighted about the City Council decision to proceed with the new venue project. A modern, purpose-built venue with increased capacity for business events will help to anchor key energy-related events such as Offshore Europe, in Aberdeen; whilst the larger 10,000 seat Arena will ensure Aberdeen attracts many more major artists to bring their tours to the City. Our team can now get on with the job of promoting the new venue, and continuing to build the business over the coming years.”
Ed Gillespie, Chairman of AECC said: “Today’s announcement is welcome news, both for AECC and for Aberdeen and the wider region. This a tremendous opportunity and we can’t wait to get started.”
Steve Harris, Chief Executive of VisitAberdeen says, “The announcement that the plans for the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre have been approved can only strengthen the international event and conference product Aberdeen offers. The AECC contributes over £80m to the north-east economy each year, which increases to approximately £140m during the biennial Offshore Europe exhibition.
“Aberdeen has a strong conference product, and was ranked in 11th position in The British Meetings and Events Industry Survey in 2014 for business tourism and events. The new exhibition centre will address the need for a bigger purpose built facility, to accommodate the requirements of the conference and entertainment event industry, and without it, Aberdeen will most certainly lose out on future events and the economic benefits that they bring to the city.
“The new location of the centre positioned near Aberdeen International Airport is a significant move, and will make travel to and from the venue even easier than the existing site for international visitors. The state-of-the-art conference centre is a hugely valuable investment to Aberdeen and we look forward to welcoming even more corporate and leisure events to the city.”