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The SEC Centre (originally known as the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre until 2017)[3] is Scotland's largest exhibition centre, located in the district of Finnieston on the north bank of the River Clyde, Glasgow. It is one of the three main venues within the Scottish Event Campus.

SEC Centre
Facade of SEC Centre, February 2018
Glass-fronted entrance of venue (c.2018)
AddressExhibition Way
Finnieston, Glasgow G3 8YW
Scotland, United Kingdom
LocationScottish Event Campus
Coordinates55°51′39″N 4°17′17″W / 55.860849°N 4.288120°W / 55.860849; -4.288120Coordinates: 55°51′39″N 4°17′17″W / 55.860849°N 4.288120°W / 55.860849; -4.288120
OwnerSEC Limited
Inaugurated27 November 1985 (1985-11-27)
Opened6 September 1985 (1985-09-06)
  • 1995
  • 1996
  • 1997
Construction cost
£36 million
Former names
Scottish Exhibition Centre (planning/construction)
Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (1985–2017)
Classroom-style seating
400 (Loch Suite)
100 (Seminar Suite)
72 (Gala Room)
Banquet/ballroom624 (Lomond Auditorium)
300 (Forth Room)
Theatre seating
10,000 (Concert Hall 4)
5,000 (Concert Hall 3)
Enclosed space
 • Exhibit hall floor23,355 m2 (251,391.12778226 sq ft)
 • Breakout/meeting4,431 m2 (47,694.887056441 sq ft)
Parking1,600 spaces[1]
Bicycle facilities
18 spaces[2]
Public transit accessExhibition Centre railway station
Venue Website

Since the opening of the original buildings in 1985, the complex has undergone two major expansions; the first being the SEC Armadillo in 1997, and then the SSE Hydro in 2013. The venue's holding company SEC Limited, is 91% owned by Glasgow City Council and 9% owned by private investors. It is probably best known for hosting concerts, particularly in Hall 4 and Hall 3.

Development historyEdit

The Scottish Development Agency first supported the construction of an exhibition centre in Glasgow in 1979. A site at the former Queen's Dock[4][5] on the north bank of the Clyde at Finnieston, which had closed to navigation in 1969, was selected. Land reclamation works started in 1982 using rubble from the demolished St Enoch railway station. The construction of the SECC buildings began on the site in 1983.

Main BuildingEdit

The Main Building was completed and opened in 1985, with a concert by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Hall 1. It later held the Grand International Show in Hall 4 as part of the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival. In 1990, the SECC was one of the hubs of Glasgow's year as European City of Culture, hosting concerts by Luciano Pavarotti, the Bolshoi Ballet and Opera and Bryan Adams.

Upon its opening, the Centre quickly gained its nickname from the local press and thus to general usage, "The Big Red Shed", owing to its outward appearance, which resembled a giant red painted warehouse. The nickname became redundant after the Main Building was painted grey in 1997.

The SECC occupies 64 acres (260,000 m2) of land – most of which is surface car parking space – and hosts numerous music concerts, exhibitions and professional conferences. The SECC also has its own railway station, Exhibition Centre, on the Argyle Line of Glasgow's suburban railway network. The 16-storey Forum Hotel (now part of the Crowne Plaza chain) was opened on the site in 1989.

In September 1996, a new 5,095 m2 exhibition hall, Hall 3, was opened. In May 1997, the conversion of Hall 1 into the Loch Suite conference venue was completed.

SEC ArmadilloEdit

The Clyde Auditorium with the main SECC building behind it

In 1995, construction began on a new building – the SEC Armadillo – to become part of the SECC complex. Designed by award-winning architect Sir Norman Foster and often called "the armadillo" by Glaswegians, this new 3,000 capacity building was completed in 1997.

Queens Dock 2 expansionEdit

In April 2004, the owners SEC Ltd again commissioned Foster and Partners to design a £562 million regeneration of the Queen's Dock area, under the name QD2 – so called as this is the second regeneration of the former Queen's Dock area since the centre's inception.

This project incorporated SSE Hydro, a 12,500 seat, £50 million concert arena for the SECC, which opened in September 2013. The centre is also to be served by the Clyde FastLink. The surface carparks to the West of the site will be sold for residential development and land to the east has also been identified for commercial development.

Shows and EventsEdit

The venue hosted the Eurovision Dance Contest 2008. The SECC hosted the Girls' Day Out Show in 2009, 2010 and 2012.[6] It staged The Scottish Golf Show in 2009 and 2010.[7]

The venue annually stages the popular BBC Good Food Show.[8]

On 15 November 2015, it played host to Insane Championship Wrestling's biggest show of the year, Fear & Loathing VIII, the company's biggest sold out show to date. It also was the biggest selling show in British wrestling history since Big Daddy fought Giant Haystacks at Wembley Arena in 1981.[9]

The SECC hosted the World Science Fiction convention twice, as Intersection, the 53rd World Science Fiction convention in 1995, and Interaction, the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention in 2005 (including the SEC Armadillo).

In 2012, Irish pop band Westlife were honoured with four specially commissioned bar stools (to be a permanent fixture at the venue) to mark 49 performances at the SECC where they entertained over 380,000 fans over the years, selling more tickets than any other act.[10]


  1. ^ "SECC Car Park". City Parking (Glasgow). Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Getting to the SECC by Bike". Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  3. ^ "All change as SECC is renamed the Scottish Event Campus". Evening Times. Newsquest Media Group Ltd. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  4. ^ Glasgow Harbour 1932 (Burrell Collection Photo Library), The Glasgow Story
  5. ^ Glasgow, general view, showing Queen's Dock and Yorkhill Hospital. Oblique aerial photograph taken facing north (1934), Canmore
  6. ^ "The Girls' Day Out Show at the SECC in Glasgow". Retrieved 17 March 2011. SECC Events – Girls' Day Out Show
  7. ^ "The Scottish Golf Show at the SECC in Glasgow". Retrieved 17 March 2011. SECC Events – The Scottish Golf Show
  8. ^ "BBC Good Food Show". BBC Haymarket Exhibitions. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  9. ^ Insane Championship Wrestling - ICW (20 October 2015). "ICW Sells Out the SECC" – via YouTube.
  10. ^ Scottish tribute to Westlife's signature bar stool move, Evening Standard, 20 June 2012

External linksEdit