ISG wins ACC Liverpool extension

ISG has won the tender to build the £40m extension to the Arena & Convention Centre on the Liverpool waterfront.

The ACC, operated by a division of Liverpool City Council, opened in Kings Dock in January 2008 and following nearly five successful years will now embark on the second stage of its business plan – to create bigger halls capable of attract larger international exhibitions, trade shows and sports events to the city.

The 87,000 sq ft Exhibition Centre Liverpool will contain three expo halls. There will also be a new hotel, the third at Kings Dock, linking directly into the ACC. The city council is seeking an operator to manage the hotel.

Liverpool City Council is in talks with the Homes & Communities Agency, the current owner of Kings Dock, to release the seven acres of land adjacent to the existing arena and convention centre. An agreement in principle has been reached for the granting of 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 taxpayers. It will be wholly owned by Liverpool City Council and managed by the existing ACC Liverpool team.

The city council and ACC Liverpool management will work with ISG to further the design of the exhibition centre and hotel, with a planning submission scheduled to be submitted in March 2013. Construction of the new facilities is set to commence in autumn 2013, with a scheduled completion date of spring 2015.

Plans for Exhibition Centre Liverpool include a public atrium, food and beverage outlets, meeting rooms and a business centre. The three halls will each be 29,000 sq ft and be separated by movable walls.

The facility will be capable of hosting trade and consumer exhibitions, concerts and sports events on a national and international scale.

The arrival of Exhibition Centre Liverpool will increase the existing 7,125sq m of exhibition space at ACC Liverpool to 15,225sq m of interlinked and flexible event space.

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 £40m per year in economic benefit to the Merseyside area.

Jim Parker, managing director North West of ISG, said: "As part of our commitment to generating a highly positive legacy and maximising the regional economic benefits of this key construction project, we will be working closely with the skilled local supply chain, as well as providing community employment and training opportunities.

"Playing a key role in the continuing vision for the development of Liverpool's waterfront is an incredibly exciting proposition and we are relishing the challenge of delivering a venue that will further strengthen the city's credentials as a world class business and leisure destination."

The concept design was produced by London-based Populous but the contract will be on design-and-build basis. Aecom is the technical advisor.

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