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Scottish Event Campus unveils £150m expansion plan

The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow has applied for planning permission in principle to add a new conference facility and extend existing exhibition space. The campus includes the SEC Centre, the SEC Armadillo and the SSE Hydro. SEC also said it was in discussions with Glasgow City Council and the Scottish and UK governments over funding for the project.

SEC chief executive Peter Duthie said: "The new conference facility would allow us to stage two events simultaneously or large conferences on a scale that we currently cant offer.

"We believe our expansion project will provide a significant economic impact, not just to Glasgow and Scotland but to the UK."

Meanwhile, construction work is expected to start this summer on two new hotels at the campus after SEC sold sites to property developers. The hotels are expected to be completed by next year, adding 400 rooms between them to the campus area.

Mr Duthie said: "Clearly accommodation is very important, particularly for the conference sector but also for exhibitions and live entertainment."

According to SECs latest annual results report, the campus generated net additional expenditure of more than £1m per day in the Glasgow area - a total of £400m for the year.

Mr Duthie added: "The development plans fit with the objectives of Glasgow City Council, as major shareholder, to ensure additional economic benefit across the city in terms of spend on hotels, restaurants, retail, and the related employment creation."

In the 2017-18 financial year, SECs turnover increased by 1% to £29.1m, although pre-tax profits slipped from £2.74m to £1.69m.

Conference revenue fell slightly last year, while live entertainment turnover from the SSE Hydro was in line with the previous year. Exhibition revenues increased, with five new events added.

The Hydro recorded more than 900,000 visitors, with the venue hosting top artists such as Celine Dion, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran. Other event highlights included Disney Ice Productions and WWE Wrestling.