Aberdeen’s new £333million exhibition and conference centre will be open by next autumn and could compete with “the best arenas in the world”, according to the city council’s leadership.
Work is now well under way on the development at Bucksburn, which will replace the current facility at Bridge of Don.
The centrepiece building of the venue, which will contain a 12,500-capacity arena, exhibition space and conference centre, is expected to be wind and water-tight in two weeks.
It is hoped the centre will be completed and ready for Offshore Europe next September.
Yesterday, the council’s co-leaders, Jenny Laing and Douglas Lumsden, toured the construction site and met representatives from Henry Boot Developments, the council’s partner in building the venue, as well as primary contractors Robertson Group.
Mrs Laing and Mr Lumsden were shown the expansive arena space, and were told how the venue’s roof has been designed to prevent noise from helicopters from the nearby airport interrupting performances, and to stop loud music from leaving the venue.
The council estimates the building could bring in millions of pounds and visitors to the Scottish economy every year.
Mrs Laing said: “It’s great to get on the site and see for ourselves just much progress has already been made.
“We believe the new AECC will make a tremendous impact on the local economy. It’s been designed to attract much bigger
and better exhibitions than we’ve previously seen in the north-east, and also the bigger entertainment acts that the people of the north-east want to see.
“I think when this opens it will be competing with some of the best arenas in the world.”
Nigel Munro, regional project manager from Henry Boot Developments, said: “We really are at a fascinating stage now here at the new AECC site, where the shapes of the new buildings have become clear and things are changing very quickly from week to week as work continues to progress well.”
Chris Foy, chief executive for Visit Aberdeenshire, said: “The investment in the new AECC will allow us to compete globally to attract top entertainment and business events to
the region which were previously beyond our capacity.
“This will have wide-reaching benefits to the region with an increase in overnight stays, and new business for restaurants and attractions.”