Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre
The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) is Scotland's largest exhibition centre, located in the district of Finnieston on the north bank of the River Clyde, Glasgow. The venue's holding company SEC Limited, is 91% owned by Glasgow City Council and 9% owned by private investors. It is probably best known for hosting concerts, particularly in Hall 4 and Hall 3.
Since the opening of the original buildings in 1985, the complex has undergone two major expansions; the first being the Clyde Auditorium in 1997, and then the SSE Hydro Arena in 2013.
The Scottish Development Agency first supported the construction of an exhibition centre in Glasgow in 1979. A site at the former Queen's Dock on the north bank of the Clyde at Finnieston, which had closed to navigation in 1969, was selected. Land reclamation works started in 1982 using rubble from the demolished St Enoch railway station. The construction of the SECC buildings began on the site in 1983.
The Main Building was completed and opened in 1985, with a concert by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Hall 1. It later held the Grand International Show in Hall 4 as part of the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival. In 1990, the SECC was one of the hubs of Glasgow's year as European City of Culture, hosting concerts by Luciano Pavarotti, the Bolshoi Ballet and Opera & Bryan Adams.
Upon its opening, the Centre quickly gained its nickname from the local press and thus to general usage, "The Big Red Shed", owing to its outward appearance, which resembled a giant red painted warehouse. The nickname became redundant after the Main Building was painted grey in 1997.
The SECC occupies 64 acres (260,000 m2) of land — most of which is surface car parking space — and hosts numerous music concerts, exhibitions and professional conferences. The SECC also has its own railway station, Exhibition Centre, on the Argyle Line of Glasgow's suburban railway network. The 16-storey Forum Hotel (now part of the Crowne Plaza chain) was opened on the site in 1989. In September 1996, a new 5,095 m2 exhibition hall, Hall 3, was opened. In May 1997, the conversion of Hall 1 into the Loch Suite conference venue was completed.
In 1995, construction began on a new building — the Clyde Auditorium — to become part of the SECC complex. Designed by award-winning architect Sir Norman Foster and often called "the armadillo" by Glaswegians, this new 3,000 capacity building was completed in 1997.
In April 2004, the owners SEC Ltd again commissioned Foster and Partners to design a £562 million regeneration of the Queen's Dock area, under the name QD2 — so-called as this is the second regeneration of the former Queen's Dock area since the centre's inception. This project incorporated The SSE Hydro, a 12,500 seat, £50 million concert arena for the SECC, which opened in September 2013. The centre is also to be served by the Clyde FastLink. The surface carparks to the West of the site will be sold for residential development and land to the east has also been identified for commercial development.
On 6 September 2008, it played host to the Eurovision Dance Contest 2008.
The 59th International Astronautical Congress was held here between 29 September and 3 October 2008. IAC 2008 was organised by the British Interplanetary Society.
The SECC also hosted the MOBO Awards in September 2009 and October 2011.
In 2008 and 2009, it played host to Grand Prix snooker.
The SECC also hosted the Girls' Day Out Show in 2009, 2010 and 2012. This event was for Scottish women to enjoy Scottish Fashion, Lifestyle and Beauty, etc. The SECC was the ideal host for this event.
The SECC staged The Scottish Golf Show in 2009 and 2010.
Between 2010 and 2012, the SECC hosted the Glasgow audition stages of the ITV singer search programme The X Factor.
The venue annually stages the popular BBC Good Food Show run by BBC Haymarket Exhibitions attracting almost 20,000 visitors.
The SECC hosted various events in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Coatbridge boxer and current WBO Lightweight champion Ricky Burns has fought at the SECC in Hall 4 on 22 September 2012, 7 September 2013 and 1 March 2014.
Between 2007 and 2013, it played host to the Premier League Darts.
On 15 November 2015, it will play host to Insane Championship Wrestling's biggest show of the year, Fear & Loathing VIII, the company's biggest sold out show to date. It is also the biggest selling show in British wrestling history since Big Daddy fought Giant Haystacks at Wembley Arena in 1981.