History of the SEC
2017 - The Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) is being renamed and rebranded the ‘Scottish Event Campus’.
2016 - The SSE Hydro retains its position as one of the top arenas in the world, ranking third in the Pollstar Top 100 global arenas and number 1 in the Billboard arena charts.
2015 - Over the course of 2015, The SSE Hydro hosted 70 unique events, 130 performances and welcomed 1,164,287 visitors.
2014 - The SEC is a key venue for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
2014 - Just 10 months after opening, The SSE Hydro is ranked by Pollstar in the top three arenas globally.
2014 - The SSE Hydro wins a clutch of architectural awards including the ’Chairman’s Award for Architecture’ at the Scottish Design Awards and the ‘Architectural Excellence Award (Public Building)’ at the Scottish Property Awards.
2013 - On September 30, The SSE Hydro officially opens with Rod Stewart – the first of an amazing four-night run.
2012 - The final bolt is placed in The Hydro at the traditional ‘Topping Out’ ceremony.
2011 - Lend Lease – the main contractor – commences work on The Hydro.
2011 - Scottish Hydro is unveiled as naming rights partner for The Hydro.
2011 - SEC confirms partnership with Levy Restaurants as part of a 10-year catering deal.
2010 - SEC celebrates its 25th anniversary having delivered £342m of economic benefit to Glasgow.
2010 - SEC appoints Bovis Lend Lease to build Scotland’s new entertainment arena, which will become ‘The Hydro’.
2007 - An economic impact study shows that during 2006/07 business conducted at the SEC contributed £347m to the Glasgow economy; £216m to the Scottish economy and £109m to the UK economy. The expenditure supports 6,582 full-time-equivalent jobs in Glasgow, 3,933 in Scotland and 2,193 in the UK.
2007 - Best ever year for conference sales over 2006/07. A total of 52 conferences were staged, attended by 54,001 delegates, equating to 245,077 delegate days – a 25% increase on delegate days over the previous year and a 19% boost in delegate numbers.
2007 - Record performance of £15.7m, up 14% on the previous year with net profit before tax of £ 2.1m.
2007 - In March, the SEC appoints Macdonald Estates as developer for a multi-storey car park, 4/5-star hotel and office accommodation, on the land that had previously been reserved for a super casino.
2006 - In September, full planning consent for the National Arena granted.
2005 - In October, Foster + Partners unveil designs for the Arena to critical acclaim. The 12,500-seater arena will be the largest entertainment venue in Scotland and the only one of its size in the UK built specifically for concerts and events.
2004 - Foster + Partners appointed design team leader to create the new National Arena.
Box Office continues to perform well. During the year, the SEC sold more than 920,000 tickets with a face value of over £20 million.
2003 - In October, the £350m QD2 master plan was unveiled featuring a new 12,500 seat national entertainment arena. The car parks to the west of the site will be sold for residential development and land to the east has been identified for commercial development.
2001 - In April, the SEC launches its own Box Office after Glasgow District Council decides to withdraw from the Ticketlink operation. By September, SEC had carried out 63,595 transactions, selling 165,437 tickets with a value of £3.95m.
2001 - Work began on a £1.75m refurbishment of Hall 4 concert facilities – the seating was rotated 180° giving audiences improved access and egress routes. New bars are created together with new merchandise areas, dressing rooms and green room facilities.
2001 - SEC Board approves proposal to develop master plan outlining a vision for the next 10 years. Project is called QD2 – the second redevelopment of the Queens Dock.
2000 - Work begins on a major refurbishment of the concourse to transform the main public area.
1999 - The SEC Armadillo is proving hugely popular – turnover for conferences is up 43% over the previous year. Turnover and gross profit for concerts increased by 25% and 30% respectively as a result of events held in the venue.
1999 - Accumulated losses, which stood at £5.5m in 1992, cleared and for the first time a credit balance is recorded in the consolidated Group accounts.
1999 - As part of Glasgow’s year as City of Architecture and Design, Vivienne Westwood chooses to launch her latest collection in a fashion show staged at the venue.
1999 - Business and economic targets were met four years ahead of schedule. In that year, we achieved:
- 57 conferences
- 150,248 delegate days
- economic benefit to the city of £26.5m
1997 - In May, The Loch Suite (formerly Hall 1) opens on schedule.
1997 - In June, the venue hosts the Rotary International Convention. With over 24,000 delegates and partners this is the largest conference ever held in Scotland.
1997 - On September 7, the SEC Armadillo opens for the 69th conference of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).
1997 - Around 10,000 people visit the SEC Armadillo for ‘Doors Open Day’, the first opportunity the public gets to see around the new building. The Big Red Shed is repainted grey.
1996 - In September, the new 5,095m2 exhibition hall, Hall 3, opens on schedule.
1996 - Strathclyde Regional Council abolished following local government reorganisation. The Region’s shareholding in the SEC was transferred to the new Glasgow City Council. Shareholding as at April 1996:
- Glasgow City Council (90.87%)
- private sector (9.13%)
1995 - The net profit increased to just under £1m.
1995 - Wet Wet Wet play a record six nights.
1995 - Sir Norman Foster unveils his plans for the new conference auditorium to widespread media acclaim. In September construction of the “Conference Centre” begins.
1994 - On 12 December, following torrential rain, the River Kelvin burst its banks and water flowed through old railway tunnels flooding the entire site. Concerts due to take place at this time were cancelled. Although the floodwaters subsided in less than 24 hours, the devastation left behind was huge.
1994 - Within just five days, the SEC was up and running again, thanks to the efforts of staff, contractors and the City Council.
1994 - Board of SEC proposes building a new conference centre to replace the Hall 1 auditorium. In conjunction with Glasgow District Council and Strathclyde Regional Council, business plans for the new facility are developed and agreed.
1993 - SEC Ltd makes a trading profit of £46,000 in the year to September, the first in the company’s history. Accumulated losses from opening stand at almost £ 5.5 million.
1993 - The venue opens its own Box Office as part of Glasgow City Council’s Ticketlink operation.
1993 - World Championship Boxing – three World Championship fights on the same bill; the first “Triple hitter” outside the USA.
1993 - At the Boat, Caravan Camping and Leisure Show, SEC welcomes its ten millionth visitor, less than nine years after opening.
1993 - The 14th World Orchid Conference staged – the only event of its type to be commemorated by a set of postage stamps. Another spectacular exhibition accompanied the conference.
1993 - Economic impact assessment shows that business staged at the venue injects some £49m into the Glasgow economy.
1991 - SDA function merged with the Scottish Training Agency to form Scottish Enterprise. SDA’s shareholding divided equally between Glasgow District Council and Strathclyde Regional Council. Shareholding as at May 1991:
- Glasgow District Council (45.43%)
- Strathclyde Regional Council (45.43%)
- private sector (9.13%)
1991 - Pavarotti returns to play the SEC, a first for a UK venue.
1990 - Glasgow is European City of Culture. SEC hosts performances by:
1990 - Pavarotti (top price tickets were priced at £75. Strathclyde Regional Council hired Hall 1 which carried a live link of the concert; 2,000 tickets were sold at £12 each as part of an early “social inclusion” programme)
1990 - The Bolshoi Opera and Ballet (Hall 4 set up as replica of Moscow’s Bolshoi theatre complete with orchestra pit and seating for 5,400) Performances of Mlada and Maid of Orleans had never been seen outside the Soviet Union
1990 - In October Bryan Adams played to an audience of 12,000 – Britain’s largest indoor, all standing concert
1989 - Forum Hotel opens (later to become the Moat House Glasgow, now the Crowne Plaza)
1989 - The SEC is the HQ venue for the European Special Summer Olympic Games.
1988 - Grand International Show staged in Hall 4 as part of the Glasgow Garden Festival. It was one of the most ambitious events staged at the venue. It had lakes and lagoons with wading flamingos, rain forest areas with macaws and fountains shooting water 50 feet into the air!
1986 - First year’s attendance – 1.5m visitors, making it Scotland’s most visited attraction.
1985 - First concert – UB40 played to capacity audience
- Aug – Contract completed
- Sept 7- Gala performance by the SNO in Hall 1 (now the Loch Suite)
- Sept 8 – First exhibition – Commercial Interiors and Shopfitting Exhibition
- Oct – Modern Homes Exhibition with record attendance of 275,100.
- Nov – SEC officially opened by HM the Queen during the Scottish Motor Show.
1985 - Original Costs and Funding Arrangements site development £11.5m:
- Scottish Development Agency (50%)
- Glasgow District Council (25%)
- Strathclyde Regional Council (25%)
1985 - Building costs £24.5m:
- Scottish Development Agency (33.3%)
- Glasgow District Council (16.6%)
- Strathclyde Regional Council (16.6%)
- private sector (33.3%)
1983 - Building works commence in June
1983 - Ground stabilisation commenced in January
1982 - Management contract awarded to Bovis Construction Ltd., September
1979 - Scottish Development Agency (SDA) supports the concept of a purpose built exhibition and conference centre in Glasgow. The derelict Queens Dock site at Finnieston is identified as the location. The budget is set at £36m including infilling the docks, ground stabilisation and road infrastructure.