Tuesday, November 3, 2015
The city of Aberdeen is evolving and the new development of Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) is a vital element of the transformation, which will provide the city with increased economic benefit, a diverse calendar of events, a hub for the community, and place the city on the map as a destination of choice.
The Bucksburn Masterplan for the new AECC is a plan supported by AECC Ltd in order to help towards developing Aberdeen as not only a city but as a destination of choice for events.
The current site of AECC in the Bridge of Don has experienced some development over the years including a redevelopment in 2003 with parts of the building being brought up-to-date to stay on trend with the growing industry, however parts of the venue date back to the original build of the 1980’s.
The venue which has been home to Offshore Europe since opening in 1985 has been adaptable to the growing exhibition however at the current site 75% of the exhibition is housed in temporary structures, this would be dramatically reduced at the new venue making the event more effective.
The arena has been fortunate to seen some big names gracing the stage but with competition across Scotland accommodating higher capacities it is proving harder to attract the same acts to Aberdeen. The new venue will almost double the capacity in the arena for entertainment gigs with all standing gigs increasing from 8,500 to 12,500 in turn increasing the chances of securing big acts and placing us as the largest arena in Scotland.
The meetings industry is recognised as a major driver of economic growth and this sector is a strength of AECC’s with it being able to attract many conferences from an array of sectors including medical, food, tourism and political and recently has been able to increase its ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) ranking.
In a financial year with Offshore Europe, the current AECC generates around £140m of economic impact for the region. AECC together with Team Aberdeen (a collaboration that assists in securing high profile conferences to the city) have proven to be successful in attracting major conferences and events that showcase the city, world-class expertise and their leaders.
Graeme Cumming, Interim Managing Director at AECC said, “The plans for the new AECC will help place Aberdeen in a strong position in terms of developing business for the city and attracting even more delegates and acts worldwide. It’s great to see that Aberdeen are moving with the times and following other destinations across the country that have already invested in their conference centres including Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The current venue has provided the city with great economic benefit and profile. The new venue is set to create this and more.”