Scotland’s major events venues have been hit by the ‘Beast from the East’ snowstorm which has ground large swaths of the country to a halt.
Events at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) and the AECC in Aberdeen were all hit as Siberian-like conditions swept the country.
Among the events cancelled or postponed, and venues affected, are:
- The Scottish Conservatives’ Party Conference – due to take place at the AECC in Aberdeen today – was cancelled after an amber weather warning was issued by the Met Office.
- The annual Scottish Tourism Alliance conference, due to take place at the SEC on Thursday, was postponed after the city experienced a severe dump of snow and wind chill temperatures of minus 15.
- The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Scotland’s Annual Conference and Exhibition at the EICC postponed its event on Thursday after the Met Office issued a ‘red weather’ warning – meaning a ‘risk to life and widespread damage’ is expected.
- The Chartered Institute of Housing’s two-day Housing Festival, also at the venue, saw delegates sent home early as a precautionary measure.
- Scottish Pharmacist Awards due to go ahead today were rescheduled to the 24th March at the EICC
- The Royal Yacht Britannia – one of Scotland’s busiest visitor attractions – closed its doors early on Wednesday and announced they would remain shut until Friday.
- Flights in and out of Edinburgh and Glasgow were mostly all delayed or cancelled due to the wintry weather
Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said in a tweet: “Delegates’ safety comes first, so reluctantly @ScotTories conference is now cancelled due to Amber warning being extended into tomorrow. “My thanks to Police Scotland, the SG Resilience Unit and Scot Gov ministers who have kept us informed of changing weather and travel situation.”
The annual conference – at which Prime Minister Theresa May was due to speak – was due to start on Thursday evening with a number of fringe events; it was then postponed till lunchtime today before finally being cancelled altogether.
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), said his organisation had been expecting 475 delegates to attend its annual conference – organised by Edinburgh-based Lux Events – at the SEC.
He said: “Sadly, we have had to postpone our annual conference due to take place at the SEC in Glasgow tomorrow, 1 March.
“The STA Annual Conference will go ahead within the next three months and we will update you on plans as soon as we have notified all delegates attending the event tomorrow.
“Thank you all for your support and understanding. We look forward to seeing you in the coming months.”
The X Factor event last night, as well as the Scottish Cycling, Running & Outdoor Pursuits Show and Allergy + Free From Show, both at the weekend, were all cancelled.
A spokesperson for X-Factor said “Due to severe adverse weather conditions, tonight’s X Factor Live show at The SSE Hydro Glasgow has unfortunately had to be cancelled.”
Edinburgh Airport said on Twitter: “We understand the fluidity of the situation can be frustrating & we thank passengers for their ongoing patience & support. Amber weather warnings remain in place & the safety of our passengers & our staff is our priority. We ask people to make safe decisions regarding travel.”
Glasgow Airport added: “Our teams have worked tirelessly to overcome what has been the worst snowfall in our history. We’re currently operational, however, there are a large number of delays and cancellations. Please check the status of your flight with your airline before travelling to the airport.”
A tweet from the official SSE Hydro account added: “Event Announcement: We know that many of you may be considering coming down in the next few days + are wondering if events scheduled to take place are going ahead. We’re liaising with event organisers and authorities + will post updates as soon as we have them. Thanks.”
Marshall Dallas, EICC Chief Executive said: “Due to the severe weather conditions today our client made the decision to finish the second day of their two day conference early in order to allow delegates to travel home safely. Similarly, the conference due to be held at the EICC tomorrow has taken the decision to postpone due to the red weather warning. A number of our own team members left early today to help ensure safe travel home.”
There was some good news as hardy competitors at the British Swimming Championships at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh braved the Arctic conditions and went ahead with the meet.
British Swimming said on Twitter: “Great that so many people have made it to Edinburgh this morning, but don’t panic if the snow has scuppered your travel so far, just get here when it’s safe!”
Picture Copyright Kim Kjaerside, EICC