CITY planners have approved major expansion plans drawn up by the SEC (Scottish Events Campus).
Officials have given permission in principle for an extension to the exhibition and conference centre, more hotel accommodation, foyer/walkway/reception upgrade plus public realm works and landscaping.
Images to indicate how the development might look were included with the application, which was lodged in November 2018, but detailed designs will still need to be submitted for approval.
At the time of the application, the project was valued at between £150million and £200million.
Most of the expansion is proposed on the west side of the campus and would include:
— A multi-purpose, sub-divisible room for 1,200 to 1,500 people
— Four parallel session rooms for 400 to 600 people
— Ten to 15 meeting rooms for 20 to 60 people
— A banqueting space for up to 1,500 people
— Additional multi-purpose/exhibition space of up to 10,000 square metres
On the east side, a spacious foyer to cope comfortably with up to 1,000 delegates would be provided.
A 200-bed riverfront hotel block would give additional rooms for the existing 300-bed Crowne Plaza Hotel.
An elevated plaza would be among public realm improvements. Pedestrian and cycle access along the Clyde Corridor would be enhanced.
A statement from Keppie Design included with the application explained: “The company [Scottish Event Campus Ltd] has embraced an ambitious vision for the SEC to become the best event campus in Europe, adopting the following mission statement: Best Venues, Best People, Best Events.
“In order to achieve this vision, enhancing and expanding the existing facilities is fundamental.”
It continued: “The aim is to put the SEC in the strongest competitive position to attract high yield national and international conference business to fulfil Glasgow’s and Scotland’s potential in the market, and enjoy the economic benefits of hosting such conferences.
“Investment in the SEC product is essential in order to compete with the increased competition from new and refurbished venues.
“Enhancing the meeting facilities at the SEC would improve the ability to compete in the UK and international associations meeting markets more effectively; carefully designed additional space could provide the potential to stage two, or possibly more conferences/events at any one time.
“Housing multiple conferences and events concurrently has the greatest potential to generate additional business from the sector.”
Business is currently being lost because banqueting facilities for 800-plus attendees are not available.