The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), located on the north bank of the River Clyde, in Glasgow, is Scotland's largest exhibition centre.
It has 22,355 m2 of flexible space in five main exhibition halls, ranging in size from 775 m2 to 10,065 m2.
The venue's holding company SEC Ltd 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 (seating 12,500) and Hall 3 (fully seated 4,232, seated/standing 4,656 and 5,852 for all standing).
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 among locals: "The Big Red Shed", owing to its outward appearance, which resembled a giant red painted warehouse. The nickname became redundant following the Main Building being repainted 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 will incorporate a new 12,500 seat, £50 million concert arena for the SECC to be known as Scottish Hydro Arena, and construction of this development is expected to be completed by Spring 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.
The SECC held the second Eurovision Dance Contest in September 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.
The SECC also hosted the Girls' Day Out Show in 2009 and 2010. This event was for Scottish Women to enjoy Scottish Fashion, Lifestyle, Beauty, etc. and the SECC was the ideal host for this event.
The SECC staged The Scottish Golf Show in 2009 and 2010.
The SECC hosts the Glasgow audition stages of The X Factor.
The venue annually stages the popular BBC Good Food Show run by BBC Haymarket Exhibitions attracting almost 20,000 visitors.
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