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Plans for a new exhibition and events complex on Liverpool’s waterfront have moved forward after notices were published seeking a contractor for the £40m development next to ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, at Kings Dock.
An investor partner is also being sought for a planned 200-bed four or five-star hotel.
The notices have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union following agreement being reached with the Homes and Community Agency (HCA) for the transfer of the land at Kings Dock.
A contractor is expected to be appointed by September, with works starting in autumn 2013 and the exhibition centre due for completion late 2014.
In its first year of operation, Exhibition Centre Liverpool is expected to host about 50 events and attract some 250,000 visitors. It is estimated that the exhibition and event programme will support 1,300 jobs in the wider economy and contribute in the region of £40m per year in economic benefit to the Merseyside area.
The 8,100 square metre exhibition centre will be used to stage both trade and consumer exhibitions, as well as large scale national and international conferences with attached exhibitions, large scale banquets and concerts for up to 10,000 people standing.
It will also be directly connected to the existing facilities at ACC Liverpool via a covered link to BT Convention Centre, making the venue the only purpose-built interconnected arena, convention centre and exhibition centre in the UK.
Funding for the development is set to be raised through borrowing, supported directly from the revenue generated by the centre, so that the development will be at no cost to tax-payers. It will be wholly owned by Liverpool City Council and managed by the existing ACC Liverpool team.