Conference centre ready to deliver major economic boost for Edinburgh

Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) is ready to deliver a £2.45bn economic boost for Edinburgh and Scotland if City of Edinburgh Councillors sign off a revised business case for expansion next week.

At a meeting of the full Council on Thursday 24th June, councillors will be asked to approve the conference centre's £85m expansion plans and authorise EICC Ltd enter into a formal contract with construction firm, Sir Robert McAlpine.

A report to be considered by councillors recommends approval and highlights the fact that estimated development costs are lower than previously anticipated, reflecting the competitive nature of the tendering process and the construction sector as a whole. At this stage, the previously anticipated financial contribution of £200,000 a year from the council will now not be required.

Cllr Jenny Dawe, Leader of the City of Edinburgh, said: "This represents the final hurdle for what will be one the most significant capital developments seen in Edinburgh for many years.
"Additional high quality conference space at the EICC is essential for Edinburgh to retain and enhance its business tourism reputation and to bring more world class conferences and events to the city."

EICC Chief Executive, Hans H Rissmann OBE said: "The city had the foresight to invest in one of the world's best equipped international conference centres when they allowed us to construct the EICC and our expansion space builds on that investment decision and will repay handsomely for years to come."

In addition to two floors of subterranean function space, the scheme includes a separate seven-story Grade A commercial office development on the last remaining site in the Exchange district, widely acknowledged as being the prime commercial site in Edinburgh. It is anticipated that office market conditions at the time of completion, coupled with the ongoing decline in the supply of grade A space, will present a window of opportunity for the lease and sale of the completed development.

Construction could begin in four weeks (Monday 26th July) with completion due by December 2012.

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