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Glasgow sees multimillion-pound boost to economy from conferences

The SEC Armadillo, one of the venues for the Cop26 summit is illuminated, on the first day of the Cop26 summit in Glasgow. Picture date: Monday November 1, 2021.
The SEC Armadillo, one of the venues for the Cop26 summit is illuminated, on the first day of the Cop26 summit in Glasgow. Picture date: Monday November 1, 2021.

Scotland’s biggest city will receive a multimillion-pound boost to its economy thanks to conferences held there, new figures from Glasgow Convention Bureau revealed.

In the last financial year, Glasgow recorded successful bids for 71 new conferences, which collectively will bring more than 36,000 delegates to Scotland’s largest city and boost the local economy by some £53 million in delegate spend.

And, with 50,000 delegates set to visit from the UK and beyond between April this year and March 2023, the city is set to play host to more than 100 meetings which Glasgow Convention Bureau said would see £87 million spent.

The bureau is part of Glasgow Life, an organisation owned by the council which delivers cultural, sporting and learning activities in the city.

Aileen Crawford, head of tourism and conventions at Glasgow Life, said: “Despite the significant challenges imposed by the pandemic, the city’s positive year-end results show that the global meetings industry continues to have confidence in Glasgow.

“Team Glasgow has worked tirelessly over the past 12 months, supporting clients who were forced to move or adapt their conferences while also winning more than £80 million of new conference business for future years.”

The World Congress of Soil Science is one conference destined for Glasgow, which will see 1,500 representatives gather at the Scottish Event Campus in an event worth £4 million to the city.

Kathleen Warden, director of conference sales at the SEC, said 2022 will see it have a full calendar of conferences.

“Organisers and delegates are eager to get back to meeting face to face, to share knowledge and create an impact, and it’s a delight to be welcoming delegates back to the city,” she said.

The SEC played host to the Cop26 conference last year, with thousands of statemen and women hammering out a climate deal at the venue in November.