AECC

Albanian nationals held in illegal worker investigation at AECC

An Eastern European crime group is under investigation for using a steel firm to staff the construction site of the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) with illegal workers, The Press and Journal has reported.

The details of a UK government investigation into Kupa Steelfixing Ltd were revealed last week at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, where Rebani Kupa, 35, admitted his involvement in the operation.

The development of the 12,500-seat venue was contracted to Robertson, who sub-contracted Careys for elements of the work, and Careys in turn employed Kupa Steelfixing Ltd.

The court heard Home Office officials visited the Bucksburn construction site amid an investigation into the Albanian organised crime syndicate understood to be behind Kupa Steelfixing.

A Home Office spokesman later confirmed that six other Albanian nationals had been detained as a result of the inquiry.

Fiscal Alan Townsend, said: “A Home Office investigation team commenced an operation into an Albanian crime group last February.

“It focussed on Kupa Steelfixing Ltd, a firm which had been sub-contracted onto numerous large-scale construction sites.

“The investigation showed that many people employed by the company used false names and identification documents, under the pretence they were born in Kosova.

“A number of Albanian nationals were ultimately arrested for illegally being in the UK.”

A Careys spokesman insisted the company “completely distances itself from organised crime” and had performed all “due diligence” before appointing the steel firm.

He said: “We don’t work outside employment laws, and understood that this individual was permitted to work in the UK.”

A manager for Kupa Steelfixing Ltd, who did not want to be named, strenuously denied that the firm has any connection to organised crime.

He said: “I am aware that Rebani has been detained, but I am not aware of any wider investigation.

“We are still working on the AECC and have done nothing wrong.

“The men who were detained were sub-contractors, not employees, and we did our best to check their documentation.

“We have always been very careful, but have now taken extra steps to stop something like this happening again.

“It is not true that we are associated with organised crime, not at all.”

A spokeswoman for Robertson said the construction group has pledged to assist with the investigation.

She added: “This is an issue for Careys and their sub-contractor. However, we are aware of the investigation and will continue to do all we can to support the Home Office.”

Sheriff William Summers deferred sentence on Kupa until February 28.

Robertson begins work on AECC hotel

Construction has commenced on a 150-bedroom hotel on the site of the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).

The Aloft Hotel will be the first building in phase 2 of the AECC masterplan at Bucksburn, and will be located just north of the Hilton Hotel that adjoins the new AECC, which is currently under construction by Robertson Group.

The multi-million pound AECC project, which is being delivered by Aberdeen City Council and its development partner Henry Boot Developments Limited, will provide a new world-class facility for Scotland. The 12,500-capacity arena will host major events including conferences, exhibitions and music concerts.

The new facility is expected to contribute an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113 million of visitor spend and £63m net Gross Value Added to the Scottish economy.  It will also result in the creation of 352 full-time-equivalent permanent positions by year 10 of operations.

The new Aloft Hotel has been designed by architects Cooper Cromar.

Nick Harris, director of Henry Boot Developments in Scotland, said: “Having a world-class music and conference venue in Aberdeen will be of tremendous benefit to the north east. Recent figures from industry body UK Music suggest 40% of people going to live music events are music tourists – people travelling to the venue from elsewhere in the UK or abroad. The new AECC arena will have a capacity similar to the Hydro in Glasgow, making it far more likely that Aberdeen will attract the big names in entertainment and get a bigger slice of this music tourism pie. That’s why it’s great to have high-quality, modern hotels like Aloft on site to meet this need.”

Aberdeen City Council co-leader, Councillor Jenny Laing, said: “This is another major milestone in the development of the new AECC which is a big part of our plan to transform the city with major new infrastructure projects. We’re looking forward to watching the progression of the Aloft hotel as it is built, and how it integrates with the other structures already in place.”

Robertson Group’s chief executive officer, Derek Shewan, added: “The AECC will be a world-class events and conference space, with equally outstanding facilities. We at Robertson Group are proud to be constructing the Aloft Hotel, which will be situated on the AECC site. Groundworks have already begun on the hotel, which will ultimately boast 150 bedrooms over four floors.”

Havelock secures hotel and spa fit-out at AECC

AECC progressHavelock Europa has been awarded a fit-out contract for the Hilton Resort and Spa currently being built by Robertson Group as part of its contract to deliver the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).

The contract will see Havelock fit out all areas of the hotel, including front-of-house, back-of-house, 200 guest bedrooms and suites, complete with high-end veneers and finishes for a superior four-star look-and-feel.

The full interior contracting scope of work includes the supply of furniture, with Havelock manufacturing all case goods at its 200,000 sq ft factory in Kirkcaldy. A mix of in-house joinery and site based skills will complete the on-site fit-out to ensure the quality of delivery expected from a recognised global hotel brand.

AECC completeThe Hilton Resort and Spa is one of three hotels to be constructed at the extended AECC venue, as well as a new 12,500 capacity arena, conference halls, a subterranean multipurpose space, Energy Centre, car parking and public space.

Robertson Group was appointed as main contractor to deliver the new AECC with Henry Boot Developments for Aberdeen City Council.

Scheduled to open in 2019, the new AECC is an important part of the council’s plan to grow the city’s economy.

Work underway at new AECC energy centre

Energy Centre  3The foundations of the energy centre at the new £333 million Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) have started to be laid.

The groundworks, drainage and concrete foundations for the energy centre are underway, with steelworks due to be erected later this month.

Once complete, the energy centre will host the largest fuel cell installation in the UK, providing electrical outputs reaching 1.4MW, will provide power, heat, and cooling for the new AECC.

Aberdeen City Council co-leader, Councillor Jenny Laing, said: “The scale of the new £333m AECC and its energy centre further underlines Aberdeen’s position as global energy capital.

“The new AECC which will open in 2019 is designed to be a world-class exhibition, conference and meeting room venue and also we want it to be a leader in using sustainable technologies.

“I’m delighted we have another milestone to celebrate.”

The new AECC, which is being built by Aberdeen City Council along with partner Henry Boot Developments and Robertson Group as the main contractor, is a key element of the council’s Strategic Infrastructure Plan to grow and bolster the local economy, and is part of a £560m investment in infrastructure by the city council.

Robertson Group’s chief operating officer, Derek Shewan, said: “People are here in Aberdeen in their thousands to attend this year’s Offshore Europe and it’s great to know that when the bi-annual event next opens in 2019, they’ll be heading here.

“Some of our major plant machinery will arrive on site on 25 September, with specialist hybrid plant equipment expected in late October.

“We are currently on track to meet our completion date to have the offsite substation and cabling finished, which will see permanent power supply reach the entire site.”

Nick Harris, Scottish director at Henry Boot Developments, added: “We want the new AECC to be among the most sustainable venues in the UK. The energy centre has been designed to provide the new exhibition and conference centre and hotels with heat, power and cooling, and will use new technology to deliver greater efficiency and environmental benefits.

“It is just one example of how the new AECC will showcase innovation, and I am pleased to see work beginning on this fantastic new facility.”

The new AECC features three conference/exhibition halls including the main arena, four multi-purpose conference rooms, and 15 meeting rooms. The venue is expected to contribute an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113m of visitor spend and £63m net GVA to the Scottish economy.

The arena capacity is 12,500 people (9,000 square metres) with exhibition space of 6,000 square metres and an additional 33,000 square metres in the multi-purpose subterranean space.

Last month, the major steel beams spanning the width of the main arena were installed at the site using two specialised cranes. The 14 beams – or trusses – were lifted into place using two crawler cranes working together to lift them into place. Each of the beams weighs 84 tonnes, which is the same as about 56 medium-sized cars. The 88-metre-long steel trusses span the width of the arena, and given their size, were brought to site in sections and bolted together on the ground.

Robertson Group secures Scotland’s first Ultra Site status for AECC

(from left) Andy Mallice (managing director, Robertson Construction Group) and Joe McMenamin (project director, AECC, Robertson Construction Group) receive Ultra Site certificate from Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive Edward Hardy

(from left) Andy Mallice (managing director, Robertson Construction Group) and Joe McMenamin (project director, AECC, Robertson Construction Group) receive Ultra Site certificate from Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive Edward Hardy

The construction of the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC) has been designated national Ultra Site status – the highest level of attainment with the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

Robertson Group said it achieved the prestigious status by taking considerate construction to the highest level through spearheading increased collaboration and raising industry standards within the project’s supply chain.

The multi-million pound AECC project – a joint venture between Henry Boot Developments and Aberdeen City Council – will deliver a new world-class facility for Scotland. The 12,500-seat arena will host major events including, conferences, exhibitions and music concerts.

As well as building the new arena and conference centre and one of three on-site hotels, Robertson Group is also undertaking site preparatory works including ground and infrastructure works.

During the construction period, which commenced in August 2016 and is due to complete in 2019, 600 new jobs will be created, including a number of new apprenticeships.

Video interview with Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive Edward Hardy discussing Ultra Sites

Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive, Edward Hardy, said: “Being designated Ultra Site status for the AECC project is a momentous achievement for Robertson Group, its clients Henry Boot Construction and Aberdeen City Council, and its associated supply chain.

“Since the introduction of Ultra Sites as a pilot in July 2015, only 11 out of over 14,000 registered sites within this period have received Ultra Site status, clearly demonstrating how AECC site is a beacon of best practice within the UK construction industry.

“Robertson Group is working relentlessly to drive even greater collaboration within its supply chain. This commitment has resulted in a huge number of benefits for the construction workforce, local community and environment – all helping to raise standards to improve the image of the construction industry.”

Robertson Group’s chief operating officer, Derek Shewan, added: “This recognition is part of Robertson Group’s strategic approach to developing our business, in recognising the importance of collaboration and integration of, not only our supply chain, but also the local community. The AECC project demonstrates our commitment to CCS and the award of Ultra Site status is an outstanding achievement for everyone involved in this landmark project.

“Our achievement is testament to the project delivery team and their commitment to teamwork and collaboration across the supply chain. It is wonderful to have this independently recognised and I am certain that our success on-site to date is in large part thanks to this approach.

“Working in this way delivers economic, social and environmental benefits and all three are considered in all that we do on-site at the AECC.”

How the completed AECC will look

How the completed AECC will look

Aberdeen City Council finance, policy and resources committee convener, Councillor Douglas Lumsden, said: “The quality of the new exhibition and conference centre for Aberdeen is extremely important for the development as we want to anchor existing international events and compete nationally and internationally for new events, as well as by broadening the appeal of the north-east to a global audience.

“The new AECC will be a world-class destination which will help to grow and bolster the local economy while attracting major artists and events to the city, so we are delighted that Robertson Construction has been awarded the accolade for raising the industry’s standards.”

Nick Harris, director at Henry Boot Developments, said: “Working collaboratively is key to a successful project, so we’re absolutely delighted that our main contractor Robertson has achieved Ultra Site status on the new AECC. Both Henry Boot Developments and Robertson Construction are committed to achieving high standards on every aspect of this flagship new facility for Aberdeen and the north east, and having Ultra Site status demonstrates that the project has reached exemplary levels of best practice in terms of community, workforce and the environment.”

For more information about Ultra Sites, click here.

GDL starts work on preparations for new AECC

Aberdeen Conference Centre - GDLGround Developments Ltd (GDL) has started a 10-month project of enabling and re-profiling works for the new £333 million Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) as a key subcontractor for Robertson Construction.

A significant fleet of modern earthmoving plant machinery has been deployed for the multi-million project that sees GDL using its expertise to deliver a comprehensive programme of earthworks to re–profile the site to allow the construction of this new world-class facility. Soil stabilisation techniques will be used to maximise the re-use of site-won material.

When completed the new 105,000m2 AECC will provide a range of adaptable spaces. It will include a 12,500 capacity multi-purpose performance area offering flexibility to host a large range of exhibitions, entertainment and sporting events, extensive covered exhibition halls and an energy centre. Plans also include a 200-guestroom 4-star hotel which will connect to the new AECC, as well as 2,500 parking spaces. Overall it will have three times the exhibition space that the current centre offers.

Plans for the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre

Keppie Design’s plans for the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre

The new AECC will be located on the 130-acre former Rowett Research Institute site in Bucksburn, close to Aberdeen International Airport, the new Western Peripheral Route and Dyce railway station. It is anticipated to be finished in the first part of 2019.

GDL has invested in a 53-tonne excavator to add to the significant fleet of plant machinery that has been deployed to deliver this project.

Aberdeen Conference Centre - GDL 2Kevin Mackenzie, managing director for Ground Developments Ltd, added: “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to showcase our specialist knowledge and capability to provide a significant programme of enabling works which will include earthworks, groundworks and soil stabilisation on the new AECC project. We’re working closely with the main contractor – Robertson Construction – to handover the site in phased parcels to allow other contractors to begin their parts of the project.

“We will also re-profile the development site to the required design levels ahead of the construction work beginning, and we anticipate that our team will be on-site until early next summer.”

Hilton signs deal for new AECC hotel

KeppieAECCAberdeen City Council and Hilton have signed a franchise licence agreement to open a 200 room Hilton Hotels & Resorts property at the new Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC).

Hilton Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, set to be the fourth Hilton property in the city, will connect directly to the new AECC and is expected to create approximately 350 jobs.

The hotel, which is due to open in 2019, will include an executive lounge and up to 10 meeting rooms of variable size to complement the outstanding facilities of the adjoining conference centre. The facility will also include a cocktail bar, speciality restaurant, fitness centre and wet leisure and spa facilities for guests and visitors to the exhibition centre to enjoy.

The new hotel will be built in to the new AECC, which will provide four times the exhibition space available at the current venue, double the seated entertainment.

KeppieAECC 2Aberdeen City Council leader, Councillor Jenny Laing, said: “The signing of Hilton Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre is the next step of this major project.

“We look forward to working with Hilton, whose commitment to Aberdeen is a testament to their confidence in the area and the strategic value it places on our economy as the city embarks on an exciting transformational journey. The new AECC joins the City Council’s £516 million investment in a capital programme over the next five years. The investment will allow the city to face current challenges and prosper not only within communities but also on a global scale.”

Nick Harris, director at Henry Boot Developments, Aberdeen City Council’s joint venture partner for the new AECC, said: “We’re delighted to have secured Hilton, an internationally renowned and respected hotel brand, as part of the new AECC complex. The presence of a Hilton hotel directly connecting to the new venue will make it an even more attractive proposition to both leisure and business visitors, who can travel from outlying areas safe in the knowledge they have high quality accommodation right on the doorstep. The expected creation of 350 new jobs is also excellent news for Aberdeen and the north east.”

Robertson starts work on Aberdeen’s £333m conference centre

07 smallHenry Boot has reached an unconditional agreement with Aberdeen City Council for its new exhibition and conference centre, allowing Robertson Group to start work on the £333 million project.

The Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC) development, which will be funded by the council, received detailed planning permission at the end of last year.

Located on the 130 acre former Rowett Research Institute site adjacent to Aberdeen International Airport, the scheme will include a 12,500 capacity performance venue, extensive covered exhibition halls, a four-star 200 bed hotel to be operated under the Hilton Hotels brand together with an energy centre and 2,500 parking spaces.

This initial phase of the scheme will provide more than 800,000 sq ft of space and includes a development agreement for another 150 bed hotel, to be operated under the Aloft brand, which has also been exchanged, conditional upon the grant of detailed planning permission, expected later this year.

Main contractor Robertson Group has commenced work on site and development completion is expected in the first half of 2019. The Robertson contract will entail site preparation works, including ground and infrastructure works, as well as building the new arena and conference centre and one of the three on-site hotels.

The work is expected to create 600 new jobs, including a number of new apprenticeships.

Derek Shewan, chief operating officer for Robertson Group (left) and Nick Harris, director at Henry Boot Developments

Derek Shewan, chief operating officer for Robertson Group (left) and Nick Harris, director at Henry Boot Developments

Henry Boot Developments, the property development arm of the Group, has also secured planning permission for a further 400,000 sq ft of business park space on land adjoining the exhibition and conference centre, which will be serviced as part of the above scheme, and developed jointly with Aberdeen City Council.

Jamie Boot, chairman of Henry Boot PLC, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by the Aberdeen City Council to develop the city’s new exhibition and conference centre, four-star hotel and energy centre. This is a landmark agreement for Henry Boot Developments with development expected to be completed in 2019.

“It is very pleasing to see the larger commercial development schemes we have been preparing for some time now finally on site. We remain mindful of the challenges facing our industry after the result of the EU Referendum, taking into consideration this current market backdrop, we maintain a cautious outlook and as such the Board’s expectations remain unchanged.”

Nick Harris of Henry Boot Developments said: “Following the sod cutting last month, I am very pleased that we are now in a position to appoint Robertson Group as the contractor to deliver this vital project and I am looking forward to working with them over the next three years. We understand how important the new world-class Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre is to the economy in Aberdeen and the North East and are pleased to be appointing Robertson Group which has close historical and current links to the area.”

Bill Robertson, executive chairman of Robertson Group, added: “Robertson is delighted to have been selected as the main contractor on what will be an iconic venue for millions of visitors from all over the world. We have significant experience in delivering complex, high value, innovative, major projects across the country.

“Robertson has had a base in Aberdeen for over 25 years so we understand the local area. We will focus, where possible, on local employment, the local supply chain and working in partnership with the communities in the local area.”

Last year construction consultancy Turner & Townsend was appointed to project manage the first phase of construction and be responsible for the overall programme management of the masterplan while Keppie Design was appointed as architect.

Turner & Townsend lands AECC construction programme management role

AECC Central SquareGlobal construction consultancy Turner & Townsend is to play a key role in programme managing a masterplan development which includes building of the £333 million new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).

The 105,000sqm complex, due to be completed in time for the Offshore Europe Conference in 2019, will include a 9,000sqm 12,500-capacity arena, which has the flexibility to double up as an exhibition hall.

The AECC includes an adjoining 4-star hotel, with a further two hotels located adjacent to the main building, which will be developed within the first phase. The masterplan for the site allows for future development of up to 60,000sqm of offices and 6,000sqm of leisure.

The new facility will be fully serviced by an energy centre and anaerobic digestion plant. This will provide a sustainable source of power, heat and cooling for the complex, along with the two further hotels. This will also supply an income stream that will help cover the cost of the development.

The AECC, which will be located off the A96 adjacent to Aberdeen International Airport, is expected to attract an extra 31,000 business tourists a year to Scotland and lead to an additional visitor spend of £11million per annum.

Turner & Townsend, which was chosen for its strong track record in successfully completing similar schemes, will be working for specialist property developer Henry Boot Developments Ltd who are partnering with Aberdeen City Council on this scheme.

The consultancy will project manage the first phase of construction and be responsible for the overall programme management of the masterplan, which will be built out on the site of the Rowett Research Institute at Bucksburn. The Institute is relocating to another part of the city.

Andy Outram, director for Turner & Townsend, said: “We have supported Henry Boot throughout the whole bid process with the city council and we’re looking forward to being a crucial partner in delivering this state-of-the-art public facility, which will compete on a world stage.

“Over the next three years, our role will be to overcome numerous challenges including construction so close to the airport, diverting large scale utilities and repositioning three existing watercourse to create a new park.”

Nick Harris, director for Henry Boot Developments, added: “Turner & Townsend has already proved its credentials as an expert partner, and we now look forward to working with them to build a centre that will play an invaluable role in driving sustainable economic growth for the area.

“The Bucksburn masterplan will deliver excellent architectural, urban and landscape design, providing a venue which is a key element of the business structure needed to promote Aberdeen as a World Energy City and the Energy Capital of Europe.”

The announcement comes as the council revealed it has signed legal agreements for the facility this week.

AECC legal agreementsCouncil leader, Councillor Jenny Laing, was joined by Nick Harris to put pen to paper on a number of documents, including development agreements, a profit share agreement and auxiliary land agreements.

Cllr Laing said: “I am delighted to mark another important step in the process of delivering a new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

“This will be an important facility not just for the city, but the whole north-east region, and will attract bigger names in the entertainment world as well as larger conferences and events to Aberdeen.

“Investment in this type of infrastructure project is also a key part of our Regional Economic Strategy to safeguard the future prosperity of the north-east area.

“It will help us to realise our ambition of securing Aberdeen’s position as a World Energy City – competing not just within Scotland or the UK, but on a global scale.”

Mr Harris added: “We are very pleased with the progress on the new AECC, which is such a landmark project for the North East and indeed the whole of Scotland.

“We look forward to starting the construction of this exciting project in the New Year.”

Financial arrangements to reduce the cost to the public purse of the development were agreed at Full Council in March.

Officers identified a range of income streams, including the hotel, car parking and energy centre, which are expected to reduce the cost of the facility to an estimated average of £100,000 per year over the life of the 35-year strip lease.

At the end of the lease agreement, the council will be entitled to purchase the AECC development, including the land, for £1.

The annual subsidy paid for the existing facility at Bridge of Don will not be required for the new AECC, saving the council £1.3m per annum.

Councillors approve £333m Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre

06a smallAberdeen’s £333 million Exhibition and Conference Centre has been given full approval by councillors.

Developer Henry Boot will build a new exhibition centre, a 200-bedroom hotel and clean energy power station on the site of the former Rowett Research Institute in Bucksburn.

The new AECC by Keppie Design will provide four times the current exhibition space and increase the seating capacity from 4,750 to 10,000. The council said the complex is expected to attract 31,000 new business tourists to Scotland every year.

The council’s development committee approved the project on Thursday after the financial plan was backed by the full council in March.

07 smallA separate application for planning permission in principle to build approximately 498 residential units with commercial space, a recycling centre and a park and ride facility on the existing AECC site at Bridge of Don, was also approved.

Aberdeen City Council’s convener of planning development management, Councillor Ramsay Milne, said: “The new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre will be a state-of-the-art facility that will help to ensure Aberdeen competes with other major cities, not just within Scotland and the UK, but internationally with other global energy capitals.

“The addition of the energy centre with the anaerobic digestion plant provides an innovative element to the project. It will provide power but also, along with the hotel, provide an income stream that will help to cover the cost of the development.”

AECC-Internal-View-of-Club-LoungeNick Harris, director of Henry Boot Developments, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our plans for the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, hotel and energy centre at Bucksburn were granted full planning permission today by Aberdeen City Council.

“This if fantastic news for Aberdeen and for Scotland and is a major milestone for this project, which will provide a platform for sustainable economic growth for this area.

“The AECC will deliver excellent architectural, urban and landscape design, providing a venue which is a key element of the business structure needed to promote Aberdeen as a World Energy City and the Energy Capital of Europe.

“Over the next ten years, the new AECC is expected to create hundreds of jobs, attract major artists to the city, and contribute an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113m of visitor spend and £63m net GVA to the Scottish economy.

“I am now looking forward to construction work commencing on the new AECC building so we can all see it progress over the coming months.”

06b smallThe new exhibition and conference centre will have a gross floor space of 45,000sqm, with subterranean space of 33,600sqm including a concourse and retail, leisure and restaurant use.

The building has been designed to provide many flexible spaces comprising a 9,000sqm multi-purpose arena that could host a large range of exhibition, entertainment and sporting events and a 6,000sqm multi-purpose sub-divisible exhibition hall and a number of conference facilities.

A 31,000sqm semi-subterranean space below the main central square will provide additional exhibition space for major events.

The 200-bedroom four-star hotel will connect to the AECC at ground floor concourse and first floor conference suite levels. The hotel will also have bars and restaurants as well as conference and spa facilities.

A range of income streams have been identified, including the hotel, car parking and energy centre.

The development costs have been significantly offset by the income streams – calculations of which have been based, in part, on industry standard occupancy figures for hotels.

06c smallThe energy centre will provide enough electricity, heating and cooling for the entire site, while the anaerobic digestion plant will generate an income by feeding bio-methane into the gas grid.

The income streams are expected to reduce the cost of the facility to an estimated average of £100,000 per year over the life of the 35-year strip lease.

At the end of the lease agreement, the council will be entitled to purchase the AECC development, including the land, for £1.

The annual subsidy paid for the existing facility at Bridge of Don will not be required for the new AECC, saving the council £1.3million per annum.

The decision to grant planning permission for the AECC at Bucksburn will be subject to a number of conditions, covering a range of areas including landscaping, access, noise mitigation, waste management and environmental protection.

The plans for the existing Bridge of Don site have been approved conditionally, with permission to be withheld pending suitable arrangements to secure affordable housing and developer contributions relating to primary education, community facilities, sports and recreation, open space and the Strategic Transport Fund.

The proposal will be subject to one or more further planning applications for the detailed scheme, which will be considered at a later date.

The conference centre is expected to open in late 2018.