Glasgow Hydro fire: Speculation over venue launch

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THE owners of the new £125 million concert venue Glasgow Hydro say the opening of the massive venue could be delayed following a fire at the weekend.

It is thought the blaze started in the roof space of The Hydro, which is still under construction and due to open in September.

Workmen remove burnt insulation after a fire at The Hydro Venue in Glasgow. Picture: PA

Workmen remove burnt insulation after a fire at The Hydro Venue in Glasgow. Picture: PA

Around 40 firefighters tackled the blaze at the site after members of the public reported seeing smoke billowing from the roof just after 3pm on Saturday.

Crews took several hours to extinguish the fire at the venue, which sits next to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) on the River Clyde.

The owners yesterday said they expect it to be a week before they know the full impact of the damage and how long the opening of the venue could be delayed.

Initial investigations have revealed the fire may have started when a rubber covering in an area underneath the external roof guttering caught fire. There were also unconfirmed reports that sparks from a welder’s torch could have caused the fire.

No-one was injured as a result of the blaze, which could be seen from across the city.

In statement published on its Facebook page yesterday, SECC management, which will run the venue, said that contractor Lend Lease had begun assessing the damage.

The statement read: “We expect it will be at least a week before the full implications for the programme are worked through and we are then advised of the impact on the completion date.

“Apologies for the uncertainty, but we want to be absolutely sure that all issues arising are fully resolved so that the opening is safe, secure and delivers the world-class venue which we all want. As soon as we know more, we’ll let you know.

“We’re so happy no-one was hurt and a huge thank you to Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.”

It was recently announced that Rod Stewart will play the opening concert at the 12,000-seat venue on 30 September.

The new venue is expected to host international acts, and other confirmed artists include Depeche Mode and Peter Gabriel.

SECC chief executive John Sharkey yesterday said it was too soon to say whether the fire would delay its opening.

He said: “We don’t know if it’s going to have an impact on the opening or not. All promoters were contacted to be in communication with them to keep the performers up-to-date.”

“The fire brigade will release the building to Lend Lease, who will conduct an investigation, I imagine this week, and we’ll be advised of any implications.

“The subcontractors will then assess the fire and water damage.”

The opening had already been delayed when, last month, Italian classical singer Andrea Bocelli, who was due to perform there on 15 September, was re-scheduled to November.

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