New convention era opens for Dublin with CCD
07-Sep-10by Annie Byrne
The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) officially opened for business on 7 September after 40 months of development.Local meetings industry professionals welcomed the new venue and believe Ireland can now seriously compete in the international association meetings market. Ireland’s first purpose-built conference centre can host events for up to 8,000 people and management says 150 events have already been secured worth €110m in economic benefit for Dublin."The opening of the CCD marks the beginning of a new era for convention and business tourism in Ireland," said Taoiseach, Brian Cowen. "Tourism is a vital export industry for Ireland and is an essential part of the Government’s strategy for economic recovery and job creation. "One area of opportunity for us is business tourism and this venue will help Ireland win a greater share of this lucrative market, which, despite the international downturn, continues to provide high-value visitors. All Ministers and State Agencies will be working hard to identify international events which we can attract here. Likewise, I would like to ask all private and voluntary sector organisations to actively promote the Centre as a location for international conferences," he adds.The CCD, located on the banks of the River Liffey, claims to be the world’s first carbon neutral convention centre. The project is a result of a Public Private Partnership with The Office of Public Works. The Centre was developed by Treasury Holdings and designed by Irish-born architect, Kevin Roche. The design has a glass atrium focal point containing 475 panes of curved glass panels that run to the full height of the building. CCD chairman, Dermod Dwyer, says: "The iconic landmark will allow us to demonstrate new international standards of hospitality, coupled with the renowned Irish welcome. I am confident we are on track to reach our goal of being recognised as the best conference centre in Europe by 2014."During its recent ‘testing’ period, the CCD hosted The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and the 175th anniversary conference for Engineers Ireland. "It has been an incredible journey," says CCD CEO, Nick Waight. "The building is one of the best equipped and most flexible convention centres in existence and our team will ensure we can compete with the top conference venues worldwide. We look forward to welcoming the world to Dublin’s doorstep."