Planning granted for Scotland’s National Arena

11 Jul 2006

Arena boosts Glasgow's Commonwealth bid.

Confirmation that Scotland's National Arena will definitely be built was received today when the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) was granted full planning permission for the project from Glasgow City Council (Tuesday, 11 July 2006).

The SECC is already the UK's largest integrated exhibition and conference centre and news that it has the go-ahead for the impressive £62 million purpose-built Arena has secured future business growth for the company and strengthened the City's bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The 12,500-seat Arena and the SECC's current facilities constitute a major component of Glasgow's Commonwealth bid. It is proposed that the entire SECC site will be used for events that include boxing, netball and weightlifting, whilst the new Arena will hold gymnastics and the netball final. The media village will also be located on site and temporary structures will be built in the car park to house the international broadcast centre.

Derek Casey, Glasgow 2014 Bid Director said: "This is fantastic news that couldn't have come at a better time. The new Arena has always been a key part of our bid and, now that it has been given the go ahead, it allows us to say with even more confidence that we will have the facilities in place to play host to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. With world-class venues, a rapidly improving infrastructure and amazing people, we know that we can win the Friendly Games for the Friendly City."

In addition to accommodating the games, the Arena, which has been designed by eminent architects Foster and Partners who also designed the SECC's Clyde Auditorium, solves more pressing issues for the venue as Mike Closier, group chief executive of the SECC explained:

"Hall 4 stages all the big name artists when they come to Scotland, but put bluntly, it is full and we are now having to turn away business by reducing the number of nights an artist is able to play or at worst, we are unable to accommodate them at all. Building this Arena is the only way to capitalise on the growing arena concert market and provide a platform for arena entertainment in Scotland.

"The concert-going public will be as pleased as we are that we have finally received planning permission for this amazing Arena. It really will be one of the best in the UK, if not Europe. Today is a great day for the SECC and we are delighted that our plans also have a positive impact on the City's Commonwealth Bid."

The Arena is at the centre of the SECC's wider QD2 masterplan, which also received outline planning approval today*. It is anticipated that the Arena has the potential to inject £54 million into the local economy and create 1,500 jobs, adding to the £127.5 million and 3,720 jobs generated by the SECC at present.

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 late 2006. The opening date for the Arena is projected to be 2010 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.

Notes to editors:

In addition to full planning consent for the Arena, SECC also received outline planning consent for the QD2 masterplan. This includes:

  • The sustainable village to the west of SECC where innovative Glasgow-based developer Elphinstone will provide a range of mixed residential and commercial properties; from starter homes and two and three bedroom apartments up to three and four bedroom townhouses along the river's edge. This will create a new community with village centre and boulevard with neighbourhood shops, nursery school and local supermarket as well as primary healthcare facilities, a bar, café and restaurant.
  • The regional casino, including five-star hotel with restaurants, leisure facilities and a multi-storey car park for 1,600 vehicles on a site to the north east of the campus. SECC has appointer Kerzner International as the preferred developer for this complex, which will create over 1,200 jobs in the community. Progress with this aspect of the development is dependent on Glasgow being awarded the single regional casino licence currently proposed by the UK government and Kerzner subsequently being awarded this licence by Glasgow City Council.
  • Public Square - with the construction of the Arena, a new public square will be created between the Arena and the river. It will be 50% larger than George Square and capable of staging outdoor events for an audience of up to 25,000. Landscape Architects have been appointed to develop designs to:
    • Accommodate the operational requirements of three busy public facilities
    • Create a sense of arrival at the SECC
    • Complete and integrate the site, harmonising and linking the three separate buildings
    • Produce public access and circulation space for visitors to the venues whilst improving links to the river.

For further information, please contact:

Louise Brady, communications manager, SECC
Tel: +44 (0) 141 576 3180
Fax: +44 (0) 141 275 6349

  • The Hydro is complete

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