Glasgow’s waterfront event arena is set for a £200 million expansion in a bid to help the city step up competition with its global rivals for major conferences and exhibitions.
A brand new complex will be developed next to the existing Scottish Event Campus, existing 33-year-old conference and exhibition centre, the SSE Hydro arena and the Armadillo.
The new buildings, which will built on vacant land to the west of the current campus, will offer views looking out on to the city’s waterfront.
The creation of another 5,000 square metres worth of space would boost the amount of available space for shows, conferences and exhibitions by more than a quarter.
The new facilities are expected to deliver an economic boost of £123m to Glasgow, over and above the £400mthat is already generated from the existing venues on the banks of the River Clyde.
The Scottish Event Campus saw turnover increase by one per cent to £29.1m last year. A further boost to the area is expected when two new hotels open next year, bring the number of rooms in the area to nearly 1,400.
The origins of the Scottish Event Campus date back more than 40 years to when the Scottish Development Agency announced plans to regenerate the former Queen’s Dock at Finnieston.
Billy McFadyen, finance and development director at the campus, said: “The SEC currently offers Glasgow and Scotland a solution to stage Conferences of varying sizes. However, competition worldwide is robust and constantly evolving. In order to maintain this level of success we need to invest in our product to ensure we have the best facilities.
“The plans for this expansion will fulfil this and create a truly unique UK campus which will be world class. During the past two decades, Glasgow and the SEC have succeeded in the conference market and strong, city-wide partnerships have been instrumental in securing business. It is widely recognised events drive immediate economic benefit of scale for cities and countries.
“Conferences and exhibitions in particular, provide a catalyst for further long-term economic benefit. The focus now is to secure funding support for the project which will be of significant benefit to Glasgow, Scotland and the UK’s economy.”
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “The SEC constantly secures a stream of major conferences and is an enormous asset to the city, keeping Glasgow firmly on the world stage. But in a highly competitive sector, venues must constantly evolve, and this planned expansion will help ensure the city’s share of the conference and exhibition markets continues to grow.”