Approval for masterplans for new and existing Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) sites

Masterplan documents that will guide the development of a proposed new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) at Bucksburn and the existing site at Bridge of Don have been approved by councillors.

Members of Aberdeen City Council's Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee also approved revisions made to the planning frameworks following responses made during a six-week period of public consultation.

The masterplans will now inform the future development of both sites – at Rowett North near the city's airport and at the current AECC complex at Bridge of Don.

The new AECC is planned to be the centrepiece of a business and leisure-led mixed use development at Rowett North that would provide a four-fold increase on the available exhibition space at the existing AECC and also double the seated entertainment arena to a capacity of 10,000.

The development has been forecast to attract an additional 31,000 business tourists to the North East of Scotland and result in an additional £11million of visitor spend per annum (£113million by 2025).

It is also forecast to deliver an additional £63million net additional GVA (Gross Value Added) to the Scottish economy and create more than 350 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs by year 10 of operation.

Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee Convener, Councillor Neil Cooney, said: "This represents a major step forward in the plans for a new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, which is a key development identified within the City Council's Strategic Infrastructure Plan.

"I am pleased that so many members of the public, as well as the local business community and other organisations, have taken the opportunity to have their say as part of these consultations.

"This is a very exciting project, and I think it is important to note that no-one as objected in principle to the development of the site for a new AECC."

Among the changes to the Rowett North masterplan agreed by the committee today were improvements to the site layout, architectural and landscape design.

The requirement for an underpass and path connecting to the Newhills area has been strengthened within the framework document.

The framework for the existing Bridge of Don site will also include revisions relating to the steps and processes that are required prior to a final decision of the location and provision of a planned Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Planning applications for both sites are due to be considered by the Planning Development Management Committee at a later date.