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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK
Arena approval helps games lobby

Full planning permission has been granted for a major new arena, boosting Glasgow's 2014 Commonwealth Games bid.

The 12,500-seat arena costing 62m will be part of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, which is a key component in the games bid.

It will be built to the east of the existing SECC complex and is scheduled to open in 2010.

The arena could add 54m to the local economy and create 1,500 jobs.

It has been designed by world famous architects Foster and Partners, who were also responsible for the Clyde Auditorium, commonly known as the Armadillo.

The games bid proposes that the entire SECC site on the River Clyde would be used for events including boxing, netball and weightlifting. The new arena would stage the gymnastics and netball finals.

GAMES TIMETABLE
May 2007 - Glasgow submits bid document
Summer 2007 - Evaluation cttee considers bid
November 2007 - Games awarded

A media village would be located on site and temporary structures would be built in the car park to house an international broadcast centre.

Derek Casey, director of the Glasgow 2014 bid, said: "The new arena has always been a key part of our bid and now that it has been given the go-ahead, it allows us with even more certainty to say that we will have the facilities in place to play host to the 2014 Commonwealth Games."

If successful, the main venue will be the new National Indoor Sports Arena in Dalmarnock and the adjacent National Velodrome, both of which have secured Scottish Executive funding.

They will be built regardless of whether or not Glasgow wins the games and are scheduled to open in 2010.

Growing market

Mike Closier, SECC group chief executive, said building the new arena was "the only way to capitalise on the growing arena concert market and provide a platform for arena entertainment in Scotland".

The SECC said it had been forced to turn away business by reducing the number of nights an artist was able to play or because there was no space at all.

Mr Closier added: "The concert-going public will be as pleased as we are that we have finally received planning permission for this amazing arena.

The SECC includes concert, exhibition and conference facilities
The Armadillo, also designed by Foster and Partners

"We are delighted that our plans also have a positive impact on the city's Commonwealth bid."

The arena is part of the SECC's "QD2" master plan, for which Glasgow city councillors have granted outline permission.

This includes a "sustainable" village west of the SECC consisting of homes, shops, health and leisure facilities.

A regional casino and five-star hotel is also part of the plan, along with a public square which would be half as big again as George Square in the city centre.

The square would be able to accommodate outdoor events for an audience of up to 25,000 people.


SEE ALSO
Redgrave backs Glasgow for 2014
08 Sep 05 |  Scotland
Glasgow launches Commonwealth bid
16 Aug 05 |  Scotland

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