New £40m exhibition centre expansion

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Plans for a £40m expansion of the Echo Arena and Convention Centre have been unveiled with work due to begin in the autumn of next year.

The new centre will be build adjacent to the Liverpool Echo Arena and BT Convention Centre and hundreds of construction jobs will be created while building takes place, with more than a thousand  posts directly and indirectly relating to the centre to follow when the project is finished.

The long-term goal of building the centre is to boost Liverpool’s economy and bring more visitors into the city.

Bob Prattey, chief executive of the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool said: “Exhibition Centre Liverpool (ECL) is another significant step in ACC Liverpool’s development and Liverpool’s regeneration. The new facility will extend our capability and flexibility as Europe’s first integrated arena, convention centre and exhibition hall.”

ACC predict the centre will host 50 events in its first year of operation after it is completed in 2015. The council has also announced plans to build a hotel beside the centre.

Mr Prattley added: “The combination of ECL and an additional upscale hotel on site is an exciting prospect which will deliver even more economic benefit to Liverpool. We look forward to work starting next year.”

Liverpool council’s Labour cabinet voted last week to appoint a contractor and a planning application will be submitted in March.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Paul Brant has said that although money is tight at the moment, he and his team are committed to the project because they know it will generate jobs and economic activity.

About Lauren Kelly, JMU Journalism