SSE Hydro owner hails £450m benefit to Glasgow

Armadillo and SSE Hydro owner Scottish Event Campus (SEC) has hailed a £450 million-plus economic injection for Glasgow after posting record turnover.

The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) comprises the SEC Centre, the SEC Armadillo and The SSE Hydro. Picture: SEC

Pointing to a positive contribution across all trading sectors, SEC said that, aside from the year of the Commonwealth Games in 2014, it had been financially the most successful 12 months ever.

Trading turnover increased by 21 per cent to £35.1m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda – or underlying earnings) rose 27 per cent to £4.9m.

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Conferences enjoyed a record year, the firm noted, with 55 per cent growth in turnover driven by 12 international events and a host of large UK conferences and corporate meetings.

The exhibition sector grew by 3 per cent in the year with 47 exhibitions staged, marking another record performance. This included five new shows and “high” retention levels for established events. The original SEC Centre used to be known as the SECC.

The economic impact of the campus generated net additional expenditure of some £1.25m per day in the Glasgow area, a total of £457m for the year, bosses claimed.

There were 144 performances in the SSE Hydro during the year and increased levels of activity in the SEC Armadillo and the SEC Centre which led to a 24 per cent increase in turnover for the live entertainment sector.

The firm said the SSE Hydro continues to be “one of the world’s top venues” with some 1.1 million visitors during the year. Key sponsorship agreements were renewed and there is said to have been “strong demand” for hospitality products.

Major events across the campus in 2018/2019 include comedian Kevin Bridges playing 19 sell-out shows at the SSE Hydro, Kylie Minogue celebrating her 50th birthday on stage as the Hydro turns five and the acclaimed “Warhorse” making its Glasgow premiere at the SEC Armadillo.

SEC chief executive Peter Duthie said: “This has been a tremendous year for the business and exceptional in that every sector in which we operate has delivered a record performance.

“This success is measured in financial terms but also by the economic impact the campus generated not only for Glasgow, but for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“Our ambitious plan to upgrade and expand the campus, principally to facilitate further growth in the conference and exhibition sectors is being pursued,” he added.