NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Changes for exhibition and conference centre future

Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre [Pic courtesy of Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre]
Image caption The AECC venue hopes a new hotel will underpin its future

Changes will be made to Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre's board after it ran up more than £2m in costs for a failed hotel project.

The AECC had hoped the four-star development would secure its future.

In a private session, city councillors voted to force the exhibition centre to write off £2.3m development costs for the hotel project.

They approved a grant of more than £500,000 to ease cash flow, and changes to the board.

The AECC has been bailed out by Aberdeen City Council several times in recent years.

Councillors renewed their support for a new hotel at the site in Bridge of Don, and will seek to take over delivering the project.

Aberdeen City Council leader John Stewart said: "The full council reaffirmed its support for the region's major conference centre and its commitment to secure a four-star hotel at the venue.

"However, it has been necessary to re-work the hotel project to minimise risk to the council."

AECC managing director Brian Horsburgh said: "We appreciate the council's position and are reassured by the news that investigations into alternative methods of delivering the hotel will still go ahead."

The centre brings in an estimated £70m annually for the local economy, and is seen as vital to Aberdeen's status as an energy capital and host of Offshore Europe.

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