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Henry Boot gets go-ahead for new GBP£333m AECC

According to a report on Construction, Aberdeen City Council has backed development partner Henry Boot’s funding proposals for a new GBP£333m conference and exhibition centre on the outskirts of the city.

The planned new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) will be built at Bucksburn near the Dyce airport and will replace the existing AECC at the Bridge of Don, which was built in 1985.

A mixed-use residential-led scheme is proposed for the Bridge of Don site once the new centre is up and running.

Boot will submit detailed plans targeting a planning permission by the end of 2015 to develop the initial phase of the project, including the 750,000sqft exhibition and conference centre, two hotels and an anaerobic digestion green energy centre.

Construction is slated to commence mid-2016 and run through to the end of 2018.

Aberdeen City Council Chief Executive, Angela Scott, advised:

We have worked very hard to reduce the council’s financial exposure for this essential new facility to the council by more than GBP£50m in the face of the overall development costs increasing as a result of a number of factors, including inflation and increasing construction and infrastructure costs.

The expanded development now includes a second hotel and an energy centre, which have been added to bring in additional income streams to offset the development costs.

The AECC generates more than GBP£80m for the north-east economy each year and approximately GBP£140m in Offshore Europe years, but the existing centre is no longer fit-for-purpose or big enough to accommodate the growing industry conferences or entertainment events.

Without a new facility, there is no doubt Aberdeen will lose out on these events and the significant economic benefits they bring.

New AECC: Project Team

Turner & Townsend (Project Management/Cost Management)
SASANBELL (Architect)
Arup (Civil & Structural Engineer)
Mott MacDonald (Transport)
DSSR (M&E Services Engineer)
Hurley Palmer Flatt (Energy & Sustainability)
GVA James Barr (Planning Consultant)
Cooper Cromar (Architect)
Goodson Associates (Civil & Structural Engineer)
AECOM (Transport)
Ryden (Planning Consultant)


New AECC: Project Stats

The new AECC has been designed to provide a range of flexible spaces. The main exhibition hall is 9,000sqm and can function as an arena accommodating 15,000 standing or 10,000 seating. It will allow Aberdeen and the AECC to host a wider programme of larger national and international events, as well as attracting world-class entertainment acts. The varying activities and occupancy levels require a flexible design, which can easily be operated to meet the challenging requirements of a diverse event schedule.

The arena layout is a contemporary and innovative multi-purpose space. This provides maximum flexibility to host a large range of exhibition, entertainment and sporting events. Retractable seating units will be provided to optimise seating arrangements and flexibility for individual events. Accessible seating will be provided in suitable locations with easy horizontal access from the vertical circulation cores.

The 36,000sqm subterranean space below the main piazza has a dual-function. It provides additional exhibition space for major events, connected to the main building by stairs, lifts and escalators. This space also functions as a car park and is accessed by two ramps capable of accommodating service vehicles.

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