Scottish Enterprise has confirmed funding of £10million towards the construction of the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC). The venue, which will sit at the western gateway to the Energetica Corridor, will have the potential to generate an additional £113million of visitor spend annually.

Over the next ten years, the £207million centre is expected to attract an additional 4.5million visitors to the area. It will aim to secure a high proportion of the lucrative business tourism market whilst elevating Aberdeen into the top five of global competitor energy cities for conferences and exhibitions.

This investment from Scottish Enterprise signals confidence in the area. The funds will support the creation of a world-class venue within the Energetica Corridor, a global hub for the energy sector extending a 30 mile corridor from Aberdeen to Peterhead. With a range of business and investment opportunities, this is one of a number of large scale, innovative projects helping to put the area on the map.

At the northern end of the Energetica Corridor, the Peterhead Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project was granted planning permission last month by Aberdeenshire Council. The joint Shell and SSE Project is set to be the world’s first full-scale gas CCS Project.

Also, Northconnect, a £2billion project to link the electricity transmission systems of Scotland and Norway with a subsea cable, demonstrates further confidence in developing innovative projects within the Corridor. Planning permission for the onshore elements of the project, south of Peterhead, was submitted in May and the scheme could create up to 200 jobs.

Energetica Development Manager, James Welsh, said: “Scottish Enterprise’s decision to award this funding to the AECC project demonstrates that the area remains an attractive investment proposition.

“We are delighted that the new AECC will remain within the Energetica Corridor and will continue to attract both regional and international visitors to high profile events. The quality of the concept design is very high and the innovative energy centre proposal sets this exhibition centre apart from others in Scotland. We look forward to seeing a detailed planning application later on in the year.”

Derek McCrindle, Director of Business Infrastructure Partnerships for Scottish Enterprise, and Energetica Programme Director, added: “We are thrilled to be supporting this exciting infrastructure project within the Energetica Corridor. The north east region is a major contributor to the Scottish economy and the new AECC will play a key role in retaining the region’s position as a global energy hub.

“We look forward to working with all the partners involved in this project, and sharing our knowledge and experiences to ensure continued success within the region.”

It is anticipated that the new AECC will be open for business in 2018.

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