Work has begun on the new £40m exhibition centre and £26m integrated hotel on Liverpool’s waterfront.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, visited the construction site at Kings Dock today (17 February) and was joined by Bob Prattey, Chief Executive of ACC Liverpool; David McDonnell, Chairman of ACC Liverpool; and Alan McCarthy-Wyper, MD of ISG Construction, to see the scheme beginning to take shape.
The 8,100sqm, three-hall exhibition centre and the 216-room ’headquarters’ hotel will form part of ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena.
The Exhibition Centre is being delivered at no cost to council taxpayers. Funding is raised through borrowing, paid for through income generated by the centre. The city council is using this ‘invest to earn’ approach to drive forward new developments, with any surplus ploughed back into providing services.
With work now underway, the new facilities are expected to be open for business by summer 2015.
“Delivering a world class exhibition centre is a major priority for me,” said Anderson. “I’ve pushed this project hard from the beginning, because I know what a huge economic boost it will bring to our city and the jobs it will create. It’s a great example of how we are investing to earn.
“Exhibition Centre Liverpool and the integrated hotel will help us become one of Europe’s leading destinations for large conferences, exhibitions and events. It’s great news for our city that despite the difficult economic climate, we continue to drive forward with delivering important regeneration schemes like this.
“I’m delighted work is now underway on this facility – it’s yet another important landmark in the on-going growth and development of our waterfront,” he added.
Exhibition Centre Liverpool will have three halls, each 2,700sqm in dimension, and will be separated by movable walls.
Bob Prattey, Chief Executive of ACC Liverpool, said: “ACC Liverpool has proved a success since opening six years ago, generating £760m in economic impact for the city region and hosting a series of high profile conferences, concerts and sporting events.
“Adding an exhibition centre will help us to develop our complex.”
Exhibition Centre Liverpool and the integrated hotel will be directly connected to the existing facilities at ACC Liverpool, via an interlinking bridge.
The initial phase of the building work will see the installation of piling and foundations to fix the building to the sandstone bedrock 20 metres underneath the site. An underground tunnel will be built during this stage to provide services to the hall floors. The next stage will see the start of the steelwork erected for the exhibition centre and the concrete frame for the hotel.
In its first year of operation, Exhibition Centre Liverpool is expected to host about 50 events and attract more than 250,000 visitors.
It is estimated that the exhibition and event programme will support 1,300 jobs in the wider economy and contribute in the region of £40m per year in economic benefit to the Merseyside area.
Image: Bob Prattey, ACC Liverpool Chief Executive and Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool
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