Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre’s (AECC) managing director Brian Horsburgh has announced his retirement after 18 years with the organisation.
Horsburgh joined AECC in 1997 as director of conferences, ahead of a major re-development. The extended and re-developed venue was opened in April 2003 by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne and, as director of sales and marketing at that time, Horsburgh played a central role in the plans and delivery of the extended facilities.
Horsburgh became deputy managing director in 2006 and two years later was appointed managing director.
“I’ve been privileged to lead one of the UK’s great conference and exhibition facilities supported by a great team,” Horsburgh said. “After almost 18 years with the company and seven as MD, it’s time to move on and transfer AECC’s helm to a new leader who can take the business forward and manage the transition to the new venue.
“While the current business environment is challenging, the future of the city region and the new AECC is positive, exciting times lie ahead. I wish the team and the venue redevelopment every success.”
AECC chairman, Ed Gillespie, said: “The next few years will be filled with excitement and change for the AECC team, this will lead to a fantastic legacy to be enjoyed not just by the people of Aberdeen but by music fans, visitors and conference delegates from across the North East of Scotland and beyond. On behalf of the AECC Board, I offer very best wishes to Brian in his retirement and thank him for driving the business to where it is today.”
Graeme Cumming, currently deputy managing director and finance director, will be taking on the role of acting managing director. Cumming will be supported by Fiona Mann, who will be taking on the role of acting deputy managing director alongside her current role as director of operations and safety.
Louise Lonie, head of sales and marketing, has also been appointed a board member and will now be director of sales and marketing.
The last decade has seen the AECC’s turnover treble from £2.5m in 2001/2002 to £8.45m in 2013/14. Additionally, AECC has increased its economic contribution to the Aberdeen City and Shire Region; from around £12m in 1989 to £140m per annum, supporting more than 1,000 jobs across the region.
The start of 2015 saw the announcement of redevelopment plans by the AECC’s owners Aberdeen City Council. The new facility in Dyce is planned to open in 2018 and will more than double the current AECC’s size and capacities.
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