Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) celebrated the completion of its new conference and event facilities at a launch event on 19 January. The new facilities lie at the heart of the University’s £32m campus transformation project.
Booking agents, potential clients and industry representatives came to view the facilities, in the Hamish Wood building, which include a state-of-the-art conference hall, statement glass entrance pavilion and a suite of seminar rooms and breakout spaces.
Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Julie Duncan, GCU head of conference and events, spoke about the distinctive facilities, available for a variety of events from conferences and banqueting functions to exhibitions and seminars.
Duncan said: “We’re really excited about the opportunities our new conference facilities will bring to our campus. The new conference hall is a stunning flexible space with retractable theatre-style seating, which can accommodate 500 people. It offers clients the option of a tiered lecture theatre or a large open space for a more informal or social gathering, such as a private dinner, while the glass ceiling floods the room with natural daylight.
“It’s supported by 10 new breakout rooms, the highlight of which is our lantern space – a unique circular glass meeting room that can comfortably hold 70 people.”
The new facility is also home to three new garden and courtyard spaces, providing a quiet retreat in the heart of the city and complement the existing Saltire Centre and lecture rooms.
The two-year £32m Heart of the Campus project is now complete and GCU has embedded sustainability into every aspect of its operations. GCU was the first University in Scotland to be certified EcoCampus Platinum.
Infrastructure group Robertson carried out £20m of construction works to create a new main entrance serving as a gateway to the University campus. In addition, the company renovated the George Moore and Hamish Wood buildings.
Gerry Milne, GCU chief financial officer and vice-principal of infrastructure, said: “The Heart of the Campus project is a key part of the Campus Futures initiative, a series of works aimed at upgrading our estate. Being the first university to achieve EcoCampus Platinum / ISO 14001certification, Robertson also bought into our principles of sustainable development – reducing waste, maximising recycling and saving energy.
In the last financial year, Glasgow won 513 new international and UK conferences through to 2022 worth £141m – the city’s best ever annual return.
Crawford added: “The opening of Glasgow Caledonian University’s new conferencing facilities is a game-changer for Glasgow; reinforcing our capacity, capability and credibility as a world-class conventions centre with a demonstrable commitment to sustainability.”