HBD and Robertson have completed work on The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) – which is the largest new entertainment complex in Europe and the largest ever project for both firms.
The world-class complex, which includes the P&J Live arena and two on-site hotels, officially opened its doors this week. The landmark events campus is an integral part of Aberdeen City Council’s transformational programme of investment and the project was a joint venture between Aberdeen City Council, HBD and Robertson, who were the main contractor on the project.
Construction work began in August 2016 to deliver a 15,000 capacity arena which will host conferences, exhibitions and music concerts. In addition to three further conference and exhibition halls, the site also features a 200-room Hilton hotel and a 150-room Aloft hotel.
The £333million facility, benefiting from excellent transport links through the neighbouring Aberdeen International Airport and city bypass, 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 over 10 years. It will also result in the creation of 352 full-time-equivalent permanent positions by year 10 of operations.
Several test events are scheduled for the venue ahead of the Offshore Europe conference and exhibition getting underway on 3 September.
Bill Robertson, Founder and Executive Chairman of Robertson, said: “The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) is a staggering accomplishment and one that we have been thrilled to play a major part in.
“As a company with roots in the North East, it has been a genuine privilege to lead the construction of a complex which will benefit the region for generations to come. It has been a pleasure to deliver the transformational vision of Aberdeen City Council and Henry Boot Developments.”
Ed Hutchinson, Managing Director, HBD, said: “Everyone at HBD is immensely proud to have been involved with this iconic build alongside Aberdeen City Council and main contractor Robertson. The doors of this truly world class event, hospitality and exhibition space will open to the public on Saturday and it will be hugely satisfying to see their reactions as they get their first glimpse of this new entertainment venue.”
TECA will provide four times the exhibition space as the current AECC and increase the maximum capacity to 12,500 in the arena. It is expected to contribute an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113 million of visitor spend and £63m net GVA to the Scottish economy.
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “The official opening represents an important day not only for Aberdeen but for the region and the country as we launch a venue which will have truly global reach.
“The completion of a project of this scale, just three years from when the first turf was cut, is a great achievement for the Council and our project partners. It is important to recognise the contribution of all those who have worked so hard to bring the complex to fruition and to place on record our thanks to the teams and individuals who have delivered this landmark development.
“P&J Live will attract major artists, conferences and events to the region. It will serve the residents of the city as well as attracting delegates and tourists from home and abroad as a central strand of our Regional Economic Strategy and its key aims of increasing diversification, internationalisation and inclusive economic growth.
“It is an incredibly exciting period, with many new chapters in Aberdeen’s story being written, and today is the most significant part of what is an unprecedented programme of transformation throughout the city.”
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Douglas Lumsden said: “The opening ceremony marks the conclusion of an ambitious project – but is just the start of the journey for a complex that is unrivalled in Britain and will be the envy of cities across Europe.
“We look forward to welcoming the Aberdeen public as they sample what the venue has to offer this weekend and delegates of Offshore Europe when the first major event is hosted in September. As a city we can be proud of what we have created and of the wider work that is being done to build on our reputation as a destination for business and leisure.
“The significant investment being made by Aberdeen City Council, both in infrastructure and in culture through our innovative Aberdeen 365 events programme, is changing the city and region’s outlook and there is a real of momentum building. P&J Live is a jewel in the crown that will provide major economic benefits for generations to come and the positive impact the development will have cannot be overstated.”
There were several challenges on the project, including the east end of the site being located immediately below a flightpath, the demolition of existing buildings as part of the enabling package, the diversion of an existing watercourse, and the re-routing of major utilities.
The main conference and exhibition building includes a mezzanine link to the hotel and a basement link to the car park. The eye-catching design includes a complex roof profile, and the construction required very high specifications to meet significant acoustic criteria.
One of the main features of the project is its contractor-designed, modular energy centre. Making use of advanced CCHP (combined cooling, heat and power) technology, the centre will serve the energy requirements of both the hotel and the main TECA building.