Preparations for Europe's newest purpose built convention centre are stepping up a gear as the f acility approaches its official opening in January 2008. The team behind ACC Liverpool - a £146million facility incorporating a convention centre and a 10,600 seat arena under one roof - say they have already attracted a level of business way beyond expectations.
ACC Liverpool is set to host some of the most prestigious events in Europe next year, including MTV's Europe Music Awards, the Liberal Democrat conference, and the Royal College of Nursing AGM. Business already taken for next year has surpassed original budget projections by around 40%. The facility, which it is hoped will be the most environmentally-friendly of its kind in Europe, officially opens on 12th January 2008 to co-incide with the start of Liverpool's year-long reign as European Capital of Culture.
Jacquie Rogers, ACC Liverpool's Convention Centre General Manager, said: 'As ACC Liverpool's opening in 2008 approaches, interest has intensified hugely and the team here have been working flat out, hosting site visits from scores of event organisers. 'We now have almost 150 events booked into ACC Liverpool for 2008 and the level of business we've already achieved really has surpassed expectations.
'There has been no one secret to all of this: people are simply bowled over by a state-of-the-art venue, its stunning waterfront location and just what an amazing city Liverpool is as it gears up for its year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.
'That, together with an experienced and super-enthusiastic team, has proved a winning combination.' Designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects Wilkinson Eyre, ACC Liverpool provides complete flexibility for a wide array of events, conferences and exhibitions. As well as a 1,350-seat auditorium, the convention centre also features a 3725m² multi-purpose hall, 18 meeting rooms and total exhibition space of 7,000m².
The flexible nature of the space means it is able to accommodate - for example - large scale banqueting for up to 1,800 guests, but also events for numbers as low as 20. Liverpool's Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008 have been a big draw for many event organisers during the facility's first year. The city will be alive with carnivals, festivals and events, many of which will be taking place in the convention centre's adjoining Echo Arena Liverpool.
ACC Liverpool has set its sights on becoming the greenest facility in Europe. Features include five 20 metre low-noise wind turbines installed just outside the convention centre to generate around 10% of its electricity. Rainwater is also collected on the roof of the building, which is then be used to flush toilets.And a North West caterer has been chosen to keep 'food miles' at a minimum. The appointed contractor - acclaimed chef Paul Heathcote's company - is committed to using local, fresh produce to minimise the impact of transport and frozen holdings. Facilities are also just a stone's throw away from one of the UK's most visited attractions, the Albert Dock - which is part of a designated World Heritage site - and one of the most vibrant city centres in the country.