SECC unveils final designs of Scotland''s national arena

27 Oct 2005

The Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) today unveiled the final designs of its stunning £62 million purpose-built Arena, which is designed as Scotland's National Arena (Thursday, 27 October 2005).

Created by world-renowned architects Foster and Partners, who also designed the SECC's iconic Clyde Auditorium, the 12,500-seat Arena will be the largest entertainments venue in Scotland and the only one of its scale in the UK built specifically for concerts and events.

The Arena is the first major development to be undertaken in the SECC's QD2* master plan and it has the potential to inject £50 million per annum into the local economy and create 1,500 jobs, adding to the £114 million and 3,500 jobs generated by the SECC at present.

Like the Clyde Auditorium, the Arena has been designed from the inside out to ensure it meets the principal objective of being the ultimate entertainments venue for the public, clients and performers. Patrons can expect to enjoy an enhanced event experience; sightlines from each of the 12,500 seats in the fixed, tiered and demountable seating system will be superb and the acoustics will be of the highest standard. There will be a wide range of food and drink outlets as well as a club seating area and a number of VIP boxes, each capable of accommodating 12 people.

Such is the focus on visitor experience that the SECC established and consulted a board of industry professionals to feed into the design process to ensure it meets the requirements of varying entertainment genres. Whilst the Arena will focus primarily on entertainments events, its flexibility will also enable it to stage large and small-scale concerts, children's shows, ice shows and sporting and other spectator events.

Speaking about the new Arena, Mike Closier, Group Chief Executive of the SECC said: "This is an arena like no other in the UK. We have not been constrained by sporting events such as ice hockey to make it economically viable because our base load of transferable business from Hall 4 has afforded us the luxury of creating an arena that focuses on the entertainment experience.

"Scotland needs this Arena; the SECC cannot physically accommodate anymore arena-style concerts than it does at the moment as Hall 4 is literally full.

"I'm thrilled by what Foster and Partners has created and the Scottish public can look forward to enjoying even more concerts in a world-class facility."

The Arena will be situated towards the east of the existing complex where there is currently grade car parking. This will be replaced by multi-storey car parks in the first stages of construction in 2006. The opening date for the Arena is projected to be 2009 and it will complement the existing buildings on the SECC site. The façade of the building stretches to a 40m-high front elevation, which slopes to a lower profile towards the rear. The front of the building is clad in a translucent material that can be lit at night and carry projections of patterns or images to change its appearance to suit individual events.

Chris Connell, Partner at Foster and Partners, said: "This is an exciting opportunity to create a world-class performance venue for Scotland that will strengthen connections to the river Clyde and promote a series of new public spaces. By reinventing the approach to the SECC, the building will be central to the Queen's Dock redevelopment."

Councillor Steven Purcell, the Leader of Glasgow City Council and SECC Board Member, said: "This is a hugely important project that will boost Glasgow's economy and give further momentum to the continued regeneration of the Clyde.

"The SECC will become an even more attractive proposition to conference organisers and event promoters, helping bring jobs to the city."

Ian Grant CBE, Chairman of the SECC, said: "The SECC is already a major part of the Scottish community and the addition of this superb facility will ensure that the SECC continues to hold pride of place.

"I believe Foster and Partners has again created a spectacular building which will make a positive contribution to the Glasgow skyline and become a national asset, ensuring the world's top entertainers continue to come to Scotland."

Notes to editors:

The QD2 Project is so called because it marks the second redevelopment of Queens Dock in Glasgow, the first being the construction of the SECC in 1985.

For further information, please contact:

Louise Brady, communications manager, SECC
Tel: +44 (0) 141 576 3180
Fax: +44 (0) 141 275 6349
e-mail: louise.brady@secc.co.uk

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