A new major exhibition centre and hotel on Liverpool’s waterfront will give the city access to fresh markets and boost the local economy according to Bob Prattey, chief executive of ACC Liverpool.
The £40 million exhibition centre will open in September 2015, with its £26 million hotel taking bookings as early as 2016.
ACC Liverpool, wholly owned by Liverpool City Council, has reported that its latest results show an increase in turnover of 4% to £15.4 million in the financial year ending 31 March 2014, with pre-tax profits leaping by 25% to just under £380,000.
These increases were made all the more remarkable as the company’s wage bill rose by 9% to £4.7 million due to an increase in staff from 122 in 2012/13 to 146 in 2013/14.
Bob Prattey reported:
“the past 12 months have seen the company build on the success of the previous years as the poor economic climate starts to abate.
“The strategically important project to develop a state-of-the-art exhibition and events complex, together with a branded four-star hotel, continued to gather pace and construction work started onsite in January 2014 with completion due for the exhibition centre in the first half of 2015 and the hotel later in the same year.
“This development, together with the support of Liverpool City Council, will enable both the company and the city of Liverpool to enhance its offering of conference and exhibition space as well as providing access to additional markets, a further growth opportunity for the company and additional stimulus to the local economy.”
A three hall Exhibition Centre Liverpool and the new 216-room Pullman Liverpool Hotel will form part of the ACC Liverpool complex which already houses the BT Convention Centre and the Echo Arena which opened as part of ACC Liverpool in January 2008 as part of Liverpool’s celebrations as the European Capital of Culture.
Bob Prattey continued:
“Our total economic impact since opening is £860m and we plan to build on this success with the opening of Exhibition Centre Liverpool and integrated Pullman hotel. The development will enable us to increase the number of events we bring into the city – from consumer and trade exhibitions to more national and international conferences as well as an expanded entertainment and sporting programme.
“We will be the only purpose-built integrated arena, convention and exhibition centre in Europe and the newest facility of its kind in the UK. It will provide a tremendous opportunity for us to promote Liverpool as a new destination for consumer and trade exhibitions.”
Words: Peter Cribley