New board for AECC after hotel blunder

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The current chairman and board for the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre will be replaced after the venue ran up £2.3m in costs for a failed hotel bid.Current chairman Neil Fletcher will be replaced by one of three new non-council board members, and five other councillors will be appointed as directors. The new board will be established by 31 October.Aberdeen City Council decided that the financial package for the proposed development of a four-star hotel carried too much risk, meaning the AECC will have to write off the £2.3 in architectural, legal and other fees spend on the scheme. To help the AECC out of debt, the councillors agreed to grant the venue £568,000 and extend the repayment date to 17 May 2017.“The full Council today reaffirmed its support for the region’s major conference centre and its commitment to secure a four-star hotel at the venue,” says Aberdeen City Council leader, Cllr John Stewart. “However, it has been necessary to re-work the hotel project to minimise risk to the council.”The Council voted by 24 votes to nine that ‘alternative financial structures’ to deliver the hotel should now be sought.AECC MD, Brian Horsburgh, says: “We appreciate the Council’s position and are reassured by the news that investigators into alternative methods of delivering the hotel will still go ahead.”
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