Main beams for new AECC arena being installed on site

The major steel beams spanning the width of the main arena at the new £333million AECC site are being installed at the site using two specialised cranes.

The 14 beams – or trusses – are being lifted into place using two crawler cranes working together to lift them into place. Each of the beams weighs 84tonnes which is the same as about 56 medium-sized cars.

The 88-metre-long steel trusses span the width of the arena, and given their size, were brought to site in sections and bolted together on the ground.

Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “I’m delighted to see the main beams installed in the arena of the new AECC. The arena is now really taking shape and when you see the size of the building, you realise what a significant development this is for the city.

“We are confident that the scale and quality of the new AECC will ensure it competes with the best national and international venues and it will play an important role in helping to grow our local economy.”

The new AECC is being built by Aberdeen City Council along with partner Henry Boot Developments, with the Robertson Group as the main contractor.

Nigel Munro, senior project manager at Henry Boot Developments said: “The installation of the huge steel trusses that will span the width of the arena is another very visible milestone in the construction of the new AECC, and one that has been really impressive to watch.

“With these now in place, passers by can really begin to see the shape and scale of the building. Work is continuing to go well on site and it's great to see this important project coming together."

The world-class new exhibition and conference centre for Aberdeen and the north east will generate 600 new jobs during the construction period and 352 full-time-equivalent permanent positions by year 10 of operations.

Bill Robertson, executive chairman and founder, Robertson Group, said: “Work is well underway on site and the steelwork for the new exhibition centre beginning to be erected marks a significant project milestone. The sheer size of the trusses makes this a particularly complex undertaking, with our team using their considerable experience to ensure the process goes to plan.

“As main contractor for the new AECC, we were pleased to welcome the leader of Aberdeen City Council to the site to see the ongoing progress. Once complete, the venue will be of huge value for the entire region and as a company which has had a presence in Aberdeen for quarter of a century, it is an honour to be delivering this project.”​

The new AECC is located near Aberdeen International Airport and is due for completion in 2019. It will anchor existing international events and competing nationally and internationally for new events, as well as by broadening the appeal of the north-east to a global audience.

Over the next 10 years, the new exhibition and conference centre is expected to attract major artists and events to the city, and contribute an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113million of visitor spend and £63m net GVA to the Scottish economy. It will provide four times the exhibition space available at the current AECC, and increase the maximum capacity to 12,500 in the arena.