£333m Aberdeen Conference Centre go-ahead

Henry Boot Developments said it concluded unconditional agreements with Aberdeen City Council for its new £333 million Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC).

Boot has appointed Stirling-based Robertson Construction Group as the main contractor for the development.

Robertson has started work on the conference centre which is expected to create 600 jobs during construction and be completed in the first half of 2019.

The conference centre, to be funded by Aberdeen City Council, received detailed planning permission at the end of 2015 and is located on the 130-acre former Rowett Research Institute site near Aberdeen International Airport.

The AECC will include a 12,500 capacity performance venue, extensive exhibition halls, a four-star 200 bed hotel together with an energy centre and 2,500 parking spaces.

Henry Boot Developments has also secured planning permission for a further 400,000 sq ft of business park space on land adjoining the new conference centre.

Robertson employs 1,900 staff across Scotland and England and is currently building a new £120 million visitor centre and distillery for The Macallan and was recently chosen to deliver the new £60 million Orkney Hospital.

Nick Harris of Henry Boot Developments said: “I am very pleased that we are now in a position to appoint Robertson Group as the contractor to deliver this vital project and I am looking forward to working with them over the next three years.

“We understand how important the new world-class Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre is to the economy in Aberdeen and the North East and are pleased to be appointing Robertson Group which has close historical and current links to the area.”

Aberdeen City Council leader, councillor Jenny Laing said: “The new AECC is a vital part of ensuring Aberdeen can compete on a global basis with other major cities and also for its future prosperity as it will attract bigger names in entertainment, as well as more international events and conferences.”

Bill Robertson, executive chairman of Robertson Group, said: “Robertson is delighted to have been selected as the main contractor on what will be an iconic venue for millions of visitors from all over the world.

“We have significant experience in delivering complex, high value, innovative, major projects across the country.

“Robertson has had a base in Aberdeen for over 25 years so we understand the local area. We will focus, where possible, on local employment, the local supply chain and working in partnership with the communities in the local area.”

The city council said the new AECC is expected to contribute an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113 million of visitor spend and £63 million net Gross Value Added to the Scottish economy.

It will also result in the creation of 352 full-time-equivalent jobs by year 10 of operations, the council said.