Exhibition Centre Liverpool plans on show

ACC Liverpool

The public are being invited to have their say on plans to build a world class exhibition centre and hotel on Liverpool’s waterfront.

Plans for the new £40 million Exhibition Centre Liverpool (ECL) will be unveiled at a pre-planning application consultation on 8 and 9 February.

The consultation, at ACC Liverpool, will give people the opportunity to drop in, see an outline of the plans and submit questions.

It comes ahead of the submission of the official planning application, in February, for the 8,100 sqm, three-hall exhibition centre and the 200-room hotel.

The ambitious development at Kings Dock, which will form part of ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, will include three halls which will each be 2,700 sqm and will be separated by movable walls. It will also feature an atrium, meeting rooms and a business centre.

The facility will be capable of hosting trade and consumer exhibitions, concerts and sports events on a national and international scale. It will also include an integrated, upscale hotel which will be developed by the city council. The council is currently seeking an operator to manage the hotel.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The exhibition centre is a key part of my plan as Mayor. It will boost our economy to the tune of £40 million a year, and will support 1,300 jobs. It will put Liverpool in the premier league in terms of hosting international exhibitions, which is why I’ve pushed the project so hard from the beginning.

“Plans for the scheme are moving forward quickly and we want to give the public the opportunity to let us know what they think of the scheme.

“These events will give people the chance to see the plans for themselves and leave feedback. All views will be assessed in preparation for the official planning application. We are confident that local people will share our excitement over the plans and the huge benefits it will bring to the city.”

The drop-in sessions will be staffed by officers from the city council, ACC Liverpool, construction company ISG, architects Denton Corker Marshall and planning advisors IBI Taylor Young.

People will be able to view displays of the plans and forms will be available for people to leave written feedback.

Bob Prattey, chief executive of ACC Liverpool, said: “Exhibition Centre Liverpool will provide the city with a world class exhibition and events facility as part of the investment in the development of the waterfront.

“We want the public to be part of this journey as this complex will increase the number of events open to the people of Liverpool including trade and consumer exhibitions, large national and international conferences with attached exhibitions, large scale banquets and concerts.”

International construction company ISG – responsible for the construction of the 6,000 seat London 2012 Velodrome – was appointed last October to deliver the scheme. Denton Corker Marshall, who designed the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, was appointed as architect in December.

The arrival of Exhibition Centre Liverpool will increase the existing 7,125 sqm of exhibition space at ACC Liverpool to 15,225 sqm of integrated and flexible event space. It will be directly connected to the existing facilities at ACC Liverpool, via a covered bridge link, making the venue the only purpose-built interconnected arena, convention and exhibition centre in Europe.

In its first year of operation, Exhibition Centre Liverpool is expected to host about 50 events and attract more than 250,000 visitors. It is estimated that the exhibition and event programme will support 1,300 jobs in the wider economy and contribute in the region of £40 million per year in economic benefit to the Merseyside area.

The city council is also moving forward with its plans to deliver a hotel as part of the development. A procurement process is now underway to identify an appropriate hotel partner to work with the council and ACC Liverpool.

The integrated hotel will play a key role in attracting national and international events to ACC Liverpool and will support the wider hotel economy in the city.

Construction of the new facilities is set to commence in autumn 2013 and opens for business in 2015.

Liverpool City Council has reached agreement with the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) – the current owners of Kings Dock – to release the seven acres of land adjacent to the existing arena and convention centre, granting a long lease to facilitate the development.

Funding for the facility is being raised through borrowing supported directly from the revenue generated by the centre, so that the project will be at no cost to tax-payers. It will be wholly owned by Liverpool City Council and managed by the existing ACC Liverpool team.

The public consultation events for Exhibition Centre Liverpool take place on Friday 8 February from 3pm-7pm and Saturday 9 February from 10am-2pm in hall 3A at ACC Liverpool.