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Scottish Event Campus reveals £457 million boost for Glasgow

The Scottish Event Campus has had its most financially successful year since 2014 – when the Commonwealth Games visited Glasgow.

The report found that SEC’s trading turnover increased by 21 per cent to £35.1 million and contributed an average of £1.5m per day to the Glasgow economy in 2018/19, generating a total of £457m in the year.

Conferences at SEC enjoyed a record year, increasing by 55 per cent, fuelled by 12 international events, large UK conferences and corporate meetings, tallying 89 meetings in total.

On the same note, 47 exhibitions were staged at SEC last year which grew the sector by three per cent.

Notable conferences that took place at SEC during the last financial year were the World Federation of Haemophilia Congress and the World Down’s Syndrome Congress. These events created a legacy for Glasgow as a result of the training that went on across the city for those in the hospitality sector, to ensure delegates felt welcome.

Peter Duthie, chief executive of SEC said: “This has been a tremendous year for the business and exceptional in that every sector in which we operate has delivered a record performance.

“This success is measured in financial terms but also by the economic impact the campus generated not only for Glasgow but also for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“The net additional expenditure in Scotland was measured at £309m and in the UK at £223m, both significantly up from the previous year due to the increased number of international events.  There were almost 2.1 million visitors to the campus. All of these are record numbers.”

Beyond the conference and meetings sector, SEC also welcomed 144 performances in the SSE Hydro throughout the year, including Kylie Minogue, Sir Paul McCartney and comedian Kevin Bridges. These acts contributed to the 24 per cent increase in turnover for the live entertainment sector at SEC.

The record year further establishes SEC as one of the world’s top venues in terms of numbers, welcoming 1.1 million visitors in the year, making it the fourth busiest live entertainment venue globally.

“We will ensure that trading profits continue to be reinvested to ensure the existing facilities meet the needs of our customers in an increasingly competitive market.

“Our ambitious plan to upgrade and expand the campus, principally to facilitate further growth in the conference and exhibition sectors, is being pursued and in the current financial year, a Planning Permission in Principle application has been prepared,” Duthie added.

In 2019, The SSE Hydro will host performances from the Backstreet Boys, Kahlid and Westlife. SEC, including The Armadillo venue, gears up to welcome a host of conferences and events, including the 38th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore & Arctic engineering.