Edinburgh ICC celebrates 20th anniversary and £500m impact

As Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) gears up to celebrate its 20th anniversary this week (17 September), leading Scottish industrialist Sir Tom Farmer has praised the impact of the venue on the local economy, noting it had contributed £500m since 1995.

Under the stewardship of CEO Marshall Dallas, the business has reported its strongest year of trading on record in 2015 and is forecasting revenue uplift for each of the next three years.

The EICC appears to be reaping the benefits of the 2013 redevelopment and expansion of the conference centre, including the much heralded Lennox Suite.

Edinburgh is now rated as the top conference destination outside London in the UK.

Some of the highlights during the EICC’s 20-years include:

  • Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1997
  • North Atlantic Assembly (NATO) 1998 & NATO Parliamentary Assembly 2009
  • 29th Antarctic Consultative Meeting 2006
  • Bill Clinton, Richard Branson and George Clooney (this year) headlining the Scottish Business Awards
  • HRH The Royal Princess official opening of the Lennox Suite 2015

Marshall Dallas said: “It’s incredible to think that some of the team from 1995 are still at the core of the business in 2015. I think that speaks volumes to the organisation and to all the people who have made the EICC what it is today.”

“The next 20 years will be about investing in our people and technology to ensure that we remain at the forefront of the industry. All signs point to us heading in the right direction as we enter the next exciting phase of growth.

“We would not be where we are without the collaborative relationships with so many partners across the city, a city which has benefited from infrastructure improvements in recent times, where inward investment is on the up, our universities are increasingly world-renowned and we have a burgeoning tech scene,” Dallas added.

Sir Tom Farmer, whose Kwik Fit company held the first conference at the EICC in 1995, said: “From the beginning, the EICC was a world-class organisation with world-class ambition. Not only has it become part of the fabric of Edinburgh and Scotland, but to the conference industry itself and to the many thousands of delegates who have passed through the venue’s doors and received the very best in Scottish hospitality and the highest levels of customer service.”

Cllr Frank Ross, Convener of the Economy Committee, said: “I am delighted that the Council’s investment in the EICC has proven to be such a story of success. The EICC has made an extremely valuable contribution to Scotland’s economy since it opened its doors. Since the Lennox Suite expansion opened in 2013, the economic impact of the EICC has increased by an average of £24m each year.”

Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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