Nick Waight has been appointed managing director of the AECC in Aberdeen in a key industry role that will oversee the transition to the £333m new events venue opening in 2019.
Waight, who was previously MD of NEC Group until he was made redundant in March following a restructure of the business, will take up the role in April next year and will be responsible for both the existing conference and exhibition centre and the new purpose-built home.
As Chief Executive of The Convention Centre Dublin, Waight was responsible for overseeing the design, build and operation of the £185 million venue. Under Nick’s tutelage the Dublin venue won 33 industry awards since opening in 2010, in addition to being voted one of the World’s Top Four Convention Centres.
More recently Nick has led the ICC team in delivering The Vox, a new £10 million conference space as part of Resorts World Birmingham.
John Sharkey, SMG Executive Vice President of European Operations, said: “SMG’s expertise in driving multi-purpose exhibition, conference and entertainment content is second to none and I’m delighted to welcome Nick to the team. Nick brings with him a wealth of skills and experience in both operational and commercial management which are the perfect fit for both the existing and new AECC.”
Nick Waight added: “I am thrilled to be joining SMG Europe at this exciting time in its development. I am very grateful to John Sharkey for giving me this opportunity and look forward to taking up the new role in April, when it will be a privilege to lead the team at the AECC both at the existing venue and transitioning into the fantastic new facility in 2019. ”
Earlier this year Aberdeen City Council appointed SMG Europe to manage the existing AECC ahead of its move to a new site near Aberdeen International Airport.
The partnership follows last year’s announcement that SMG Europe has been awarded preferred bidder status to manage, operate and programme the new £333million complex.
The new state-of-the art venue will include a 12,500 capacity arena with a moveable stage, hospitality boxes and club lounge, 50,000m2 of flexible exhibition space, conference centre, three hotels and its very own energy centre.
The new AECC is forecast to generate 600 new jobs during the construction period, contribute an additional 4.5million visitors, £113million of visitor spend and £63million net GVA to the Scottish economy by 2025 and is the key element of Aberdeen City Council’s £1billion transformational infrastructure and culture plans to grow the Granite City economy.