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AECC welcomed Shadow Deputy Prime Minister on Friday

Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) welcomed Harriet Harman, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sports to the Venue on Friday 14th June 2013. Ms Harman is visiting the North-East’s largest conference and exhibition centre as part of her visit to Aberdeen, to learn more about the business’s successes and contribution to the Region’s business tourism and culture.

AECC recently reported significant growth at the end of the Company’s 2012-13 financial year. Total number of events held at the Venue rose by 8% to 611, with event size increasing for many sectors.

In addition, over the past 11 years, turnover at the Centre has nearly trebled from £2.5m in 2001-02, to £7.1m in 2012-13 – the best year in the Centre’s 28 year history. It is significant to note that this growth is predicted to continue in 2013-14, which includes Offshore Europe 2013.

The business mix has changed noticeably in the last year, with further growth of the Exhibition sector as well as in Conferences and Small Meetings (under 100 people), and substantial growth in Banqueting.

On top of this, the AECC has increased its economic contribution to Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire from around £12m in 1989, to an estimated £109m in 2011/12, and supports over 1,000 jobs in the Region.

Harriet Harman commented: “I am looking forward to meeting the Management Team and hearing more about how this business has changed and developed to meet the needs of their international and local clients over the past few years. The importance of venues such as the AECC to the local economy, not just in terms of economic impact, but in terms of culture and supporting business development cannot be underestimated.”

Barney Crockett, Leader of Aberdeen City Council, and a member of AECC’s Board, said: “Aberdonians are delighted to see that the importance of the city and especially the Exhibition Centre is becoming more and more recognised by senior UK politicians. The success of the AECC in the last year shows how bright the future is for the City. It is a crucial part not only of Aberdeen’s business success, but of also Scotland’s and the UK’s.” He added: “We are delighted with the interest that Ms Harman has in our City of Culture bid and look forward to showing her Aberdeen’s unique features as Britain’s most thriving private sector city at the heart of Northern Europe’s maritime culture.”

Ed Gillespie, AECC’s Chairman, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ms Harman to the AECC today. The AECC has had a strong start to the new year, and we continue to not only attract many oil and gas events, but also life sciences and health related conferences. In addition, the entertainment line-up continues to add to the cultural offering for the Region.”

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