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Scotland makes major investments in MICE facilities


Lindsay Brown, VisitScotland BTU Marketing Manager, summarises for ITCM

BTU can be interpreted as a British Thermal Unit, a measurement of the heat that is generated. However, on the MICE scene, it stands for the Business Tourism Unit of VisitScotland. Lindsay Brown, the BTU Marketing Manager, was able to fire up ITCM when we met at International Confex 2012.

She had a whole string of new developments to report. ‘They add up’, she said, ‘to a current investment of over £2bn. They range from world-leading seating technology in the extension to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) to a Jamie Oliver Restaurant being installed in the refurbished Assembly Rooms.

‘Stirling Castle has recreated the Royal Apartments true to their 16thC splendour as part of a £12m refurbishment. Glasgow’s internationally known SECC is getting close to the opening of the brand new 12,000-seat Scottish Hydro Arena on the same site. Aberdeen Airport is building a 304-metre extension in order to widen the range of destinations it can serve.’

The Edinburgh Assembly Rooms are re-opening after an 18-month £9.3m restoration project, very sensitively carried out, as the property is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a choice of public rooms that add lustre to events held there.

EICC is underway with a major development that comprises 2,000sqm of additional function space below ground level and a 4-storey extension for 17,500sqm of office accommodation. The new conference facility will employ the world’s latest moving-floor technology for re-configuration at the touch of a button.

Just re-opened for events is the National Museum of Scotland. This has had £46.4m investment. It will display 20,000 exhibits in 36 different galleries.

Lindsay adds: ‘Its Grand Gallery can seat 850 guests for dinner in stunning surroundings. And there is also an auditorium with 200 seats that also has break-out rooms. It is a beautiful, unique facility’.

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