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Edinburgh Conference Centre plans unveiled

posted 19 Jan 2009, 01:28 by myEdinburgh Admin   [ updated 19 Jan 2009, 01:30 ]
One of Scotland's most important conference centres has finally unveiled plans to start work on a massive extension which it is hoped will double the economic benefit it brings to the country.

Construction of an underground complex will see the Edinburgh International Conference Centre boast a new 1,600-seater auditorium, officials have revealed.

Banqueting space for up to 2,000 people, compared to the current 900 capacity, will also be created, while the EICC will boast a new entrance in the form of a striking atrium.

The new facilities are expected to result in the EICC generating around £90 million a year for Edinburgh's economy, compared to the current £45m annual benefit.

It is hoped the new-look EICC will be able to capture conferences which the capital is currently missing out on because of a lack of space.

Major sporting fixtures, including boxing matches and snooker tournaments, and awards ceremonies are also to be targeted, while the EICC is expected to host an expanded programme of Fringe shows.

Hans Rissman, chief executive of the EICC, told The Scotsman the £80m extension plans were going "full steam ahead", despite the economic downturn and the slump in the property market, as well as the fact a fresh planning application for the development is required for an office complex to be built above the new underground space.

Full story from The Scotsman