Aberdeen City Council and Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) have signed a franchise licence agreement to open a 200 room Hilton Hotels & Resorts property at the new AECC.
Hilton Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, set to be the fourth Hilton property in the city, will connect directly to the new AECC and is expected to create approximately 350 jobs.
Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “The signing of Hilton Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre is the next step of this major project.
“We look forward to working with Hilton, whose commitment to Aberdeen is a testament to their confidence in the area and the strategic value it places on our economy as the city embarks on an exciting transformational journey. The new AECC joins the City Council’s £516 million investment in a capital programme over the next five years. The investment will allow the city to face current challenges and prosper not only within communities but also on a global scale.”
The hotel, which is due to open in 2019, will include an executive lounge and up to 10 meeting rooms of variable size to complement the outstanding facilities of the adjoining conference centre. The hotel will also include a cocktail bar, speciality restaurant, fitness centre and wet leisure and spa facilities for guests and visitors to the exhibition centre to enjoy.
Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, EMEA, Hilton, said: “The new Hilton in Aberdeen will enhance the city’s reputation as a leading choice for conferencing and events in Scotland.
“Our established reputation in corporate and events hospitality will draw visitors and further events activity to the area. Aberdeen City Council’s strategy of broadening the local economy across a number of sectors – including tourism – and this project further demonstrates that Aberdeen is a robust market with a bright future.”
Hilton is well established in Scotland with 20 properties currently trading in the country. Hilton Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre joins three Hilton hotels in Aberdeen – Hilton Aberdeen Treetops, DoubleTree by Hilton Aberdeen City Centre and Hilton Garden Inn Aberdeen City Centre.
The new hotel will be built in to the new AECC, which will provide four times the exhibition space available at the current venue, double the seated entertainment. The foremost conference and entertainment venue will be competing not just within Scotland but on a global stage.
Hilton Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre is to be managed by the UK’s leading independent hotel management company, Redefine|BDL Hotels. The Glasgow-based firm’s portfolio includes DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre and DoubleTree by Hilton Dundee.
Stewart Campbell, Managing Director of Redefine|BDL Hotels, said: “We’re pleased to announce plans to add what will be a prestigious Aberdeen property to our existing Scottish portfolio.
“Working with Hilton and Aberdeen City Council, we will ensure Hilton Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre offers exceptional guest service experiences, encouraging visitors to Aberdeen to return. We welcome the opportunity to build on our already strong relationship with Hilton and create new jobs for the local area.”
Nick Harris, Director at Henry Boot Developments – Aberdeen City Council’s joint venture partner for the new multi-million pound Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre said: “We’re delighted to have secured Hilton, an internationally renowned and respected hotel brand, as part of the new AECC complex. The presence of a Hilton hotel directly connecting to the new venue will make it an even more attractive proposition to both leisure and business visitors, who can travel from outlying areas safe in the knowledge they have high quality accommodation right on the doorstep. The expected creation of 350 new jobs is also excellent news for Aberdeen and the north east.”
It is estimated the new AECC will secure an additional 31,000 business visitors to Scotland, generating an additional £11million visitor spend per annum and elevating Aberdeen into one of the top five global competitor energy cities for conferences and exhibitions.
The new AECC is part of City Council’s largest regeneration programme, as the council strives to achieve the ambitions outlined in the Regional Economic Strategy, the Strategic Infrastructure plan and the City Region Deal. As part of the of the £516million of capital investment over the next five years, Aberdeen City Council is spending £59 million on roads infrastructure projects, including more than £19 million for the Berryden corridor, a further contribution of £75 million for the AWPR, £80 million of investment for green energy, funds to invest in flood prevention measures, and £34 million for city-centre regeneration as part of the City Centre Masterplan. Aberdeen City Council is also investing in the future as £130 million will be attributed in new schools across the city. These projects include the new state-of-the-art centre of excellence facility for children with serious and complex needs; the new academy south of the city, and a replacement Stonewood primary school. Work also recently started on a £5 million extension at Greenbrae Primary School in the Bridge of Don.