Contractors have been invited to bid for the development of the new £40m exhibition centre next to ACC Liverpool, with an investor partner also being sought for a planned 200-bedroom four or five-star hotel.
It is anticipated that a contractor will be appointed by September, with works starting in 2013 and the new Exhibition Centre Liverpool due for completion late 2014.
The 8,100 sqm exhibition centre will stage both trade and consumer exhibitions, as well as large scale national and international conferences with attached exhibitions, large scale banquets and concerts for up to 10,000 people standing. In its first year of operation, the venue is expected to host about 50 events and attract some 250,000 visitors. It will be directly connected to the existing facilities at ACC Liverpool via a covered link to BT Convention Centre, making the venue the only purpose-built interconnected arena, convention centre and exhibition centre in the UK.
It is estimated that the exhibition and event programme will support 1,300 jobs and contribute around £40m per year in economic benefit to the Merseyside area. Funding for the development is set to be raised through borrowing, supported directly from the revenue generated by the centre, so that the development will be at no cost to taxpayers. It will be wholly owned by Liverpool City Council and managed by the existing ACC Liverpool team.
Councillor Joe Anderson, Liverpool City Council leader, said: “ACC Liverpool has been a major success story. Not only has it brought the top names in entertainment and major conferences to the city, it has also injected hundreds of millions of pounds into our economy. This development will build on this fantastic achievement.”
Bob Prattey, chief executive of ACC Liverpool, added: “The development, with its flexibility, interconnectivity with our existing facilities and progressive technology, will ensure that Liverpool continues to move towards becoming one of Europe’s leading destinations for large-scale conferences, exhibitions and events.”