Full plans submitted for £333m Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre

AECC-Internal-View-of-Club-LoungeCouncillors are to consider proposals for a new £333 million Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) after full plans were submitted by developers.

Henry Boot Developments is to partner Aberdeen City Council on the public/private project at Bucksburn which includes a four-star hotel with restaurant and spa facilities.

A 1,200-space underground car park as well as conference and exhibition space will also form part of the plans drawn up by Keppie Design.

A lift will take those parking underground to the main AECC civic square.

If approved, the underground facilities will measure 31,000 sq m – enough space for more than four football pitches.

The submission of full plans comes three months after Henry Boot put forward a planning permission in principle application, which is expected to be discussed by councillors on October 29.

AECC arenaIt had been feared that the project could be cancelled altogether if the project failed to receive government funding. However new proposals to reduce the public cost of the facility was agreed in March, followed by a £10m grant from Scottish Enterprise in July.

Aberdeen City Council finance convener Willie Young said he hopes the underground event space will be used for major international conventions.

He told the Evening Express: “When we have oil events at the current AECC at the Bridge of Don it’s clear we struggle with space and parking.

“We need as much space as possible and this shows we are committed to providing this at the new AECC.

“These spaces will then be opened up for events.

“If you want to compete with Germany and France then we need something like this.

“If we have a world class facility Aberdeen’s reputation is for all to see.

“There are huge conventions we previously couldn’t compete with around the world.

“Glasgow isn’t our competition – it’s globally that we need to concentrate on.”

Henry Boot Scottish director, Nick Harris, said: “When it opens, the new AECC is expected to make a significant contribution to the Scottish economy.

“It will allow Aberdeen to compete on an international scale and attract major artists to the city.”

It’s anticipated the full planning application will be discussed at the city council’s planning development management committee on December 10.

If approved, building work on the new AECC is expected to start early next year.