Exhibition Centre Liverpool reached another important project milestone in its journey to become the newest facility of its kind in the UK with the topping out of the £66m development.
A ceremonial event held at the prominent ACC Liverpool waterfront site, which is already home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, saw the signing and installation of a specially commissioned steel beam at the highest point on the striking building – acknowledging the key roles of the major project stakeholders.
To mark this important milestone, David McDonnell, chairman of ACC Liverpool, was joined by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, along with representatives from contractor ISG, hotel operator Branded Hotel Management and Pullman.
The steel beam, signed by the VIP guests, also features individual plaques representing Liverpool City Council, ACC Liverpool, ISG and Pullman Hotel and Resorts, and as part of the ceremony was lifted into place by the site’s 70m tower crane.
Scheduled to open in September 2015, Exhibition Centre Liverpool will more than double the existing 7,125 sq m capacity at ACC Liverpool to 15,225 sq m of flexible exhibition space. It will link to the existing arena and convention centre via a pedestrian link bridge, making the building the only purpose-built arena, convention and exhibition centre in Europe. It will propel the region into the country’s most exciting destination for consumer and trade exhibitions; global conferences; concerts and international sporting events.
Bob Prattey, chief executive of ACC Liverpool, said: “Exhibition Centre Liverpool marks the continued progression of ACC Liverpool and topping out represents the next major milestone in our development.
“We are now less than a year from opening and are pleased with how the project, which is one time and on budget, is gathering pace.
“Our teams are working hard to ensure that we have a busy calendar of exhibitions, conferences and entertainment events for visitors.”
In its first year of operation, it is expected to host about 50 events and attract more than 250,000 visitors. Confirmed trade and consumer exhibitions so far include the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers FPS Expo, MCM Expo group and the Allergy and Free From Show North. Contracted conferences include RenewableUK.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The new exhibition centre will help secure Liverpool’s place as one of the top visitor destinations in the UK. This great new facility will become the jewel in Liverpool’s expo crown and will further enhance the city’s global events and conference reputation.
“It will bring a huge economic boost to our city and create jobs. It’s a great example of how we are investing to earn to grow demand for the benefit of the people of Liverpool and the businesses which depend on the visitor economy.”
Frank Joyce, ISG’s project director, said: “Reaching this milestone on one of Liverpool’s largest construction projects is a key moment to celebrate and reflect on the long-term legacy of this important development. The economic benefit derived from our focus on using regional supply chain partners, allied to the creation of our Social Investment Group, has resulted in a project that will create and support job opportunities and growth in the region for years to come.”
Jonathan Sheard, SVP operations, luxury, upscale and midscale brands, Accor UK and Ireland, added: “Today marks another step to us achieving our goal – to open a brand new vibrant and cosmopolitan Pullman hotel which will welcome many guests in Liverpool.”