Today was a landmark occasion for Aberdeen as the most significant project of its type ever undertaken in the region was officially opened at a ceremony ahead of this weekend’s public preview event.
It was an honour to unveil the plaque and cut the ribbon to mark the completion of The Event Complex Aberdeen, with P&J Live at its heart, and the start of a new chapter for the city.
Representing the largest single investment in an events complex in Britain, the scale of the achievement by all those involved in the project cannot be overstated. It is just three years since the first turf was cut.
On behalf of the Council, our thanks go to the many members of our own staff who have steered the development as well as to the project partners and individuals who have worked on all aspects of the complex.
As the largest new entertainment venue in Europe, we have created a world class facility that will be the envy of cities at home and abroad.
With a 15,000-capacity main arena, three conference and exhibition halls, four multi-purpose conference rooms and nine meeting rooms the versatility the new facilities bring are game changing. The two on-site hotels operated by Hilton and Aloft and the innovative energy plant, putting sustainability at the top of the agenda, are also part of the package.
P&J Live will attract major artists, conferences and events to the region. It will serve the residents of the city as well as attracting delegates and tourists from home and abroad.
We have no doubt that Aberdeen audiences will take P&J Live to their hearts and there will be a warm welcome assured for all those who take to the stage. Of course, we’ve also opened up new opportunities in terms of events and conferences and that will be central to the success of P&J Live and the complex as a whole.
The investment in the site is a central strand of our Regional Economic Strategy and its key aims of increasing diversification, internationalisation and inclusive economic growth.
By year 10 of operations the complex is anticipated to have created more than 350 full-time jobs and generated more than £110m of additional visitor spend. The benefits both short-term and long-term are clear.
It is an incredibly exciting period, with many new chapters in Aberdeen’s story being written, and today is the most significant part of what is an unprecedented programme of transformation throughout the city.
We will look back on 2019 as a pivotal year for Aberdeen.
There is already a wonderful buzz surrounding the opening of P&J Live, born out by the speed with which tickets for this weekend’s preview event were snapped up. Thousands have signed up to visit and get their first experience of a venue that will soon become a way of life for residents of the north-east.
As Co-Leaders of the Council we’re incredibly proud to be launching the complex and look forward to seeing the arena full and the conference halls bustling as the events programme bursts into life in the weeks and months ahead.
It will be a radically different experience for everyone who attends, whether for work or leisure, and is a sea change in the entertainment scene in the city.
We’re also looking forward to the opening of Aberdeen Art Gallery following a restoration and expansion that has created a world class visitor attraction befitting of the collections we have here in Aberdeen.
Work has begun on a unique reinvention of Provost Skene’s House and will soon be underway at Union Terrace Gardens. You only have to walk along Broad Street on a summer’s day to see the way Marischal Square and the wider regeneration of the area has been embraced and the refurbished Music Hall is attracting appreciative audiences.
We’ve also seen the impact the Council’s commitment to events including Nuart and Spectra is having and that programme continues to grow and evolve. Only this week the return of Spectra was confirmed and the arrival of the Tour of Britain will be another great boost.
The built environment is changing and so too is the cultural outlook of the region and its people. We are quite rightly being recognised as a destination city – vibrant and forward-thinking.
All of us have a role to play in amplifying that sense of positivity and to celebrating the transformation that we see all around us. I’m inspired by the momentum that is building in our city centre, our communities and around key projects – none more important than P&J Live.
The official opening represents a significant day not only for Aberdeen but for the region and the country as we launch a venue which will have truly global appeal.