Welcome to the future of live entertainment in Scotland

Today, the doors were flung open at The SSE Hydro for the very first time, to give the press a quick preview of the colossal interior of Glasgow’s brand new arena, a venue that is expected to take its place as one of the top five in the world.

And just to prove that this is first and foremost a music venue, local group Admiral Fallow were first up on stage, with a few minutes of acoustic performance, just to set the tone for this entertainment hub and demonstrate the subtleties of the venue's sound system in action in advance of Rod Stewart's big opening performance approaching on Monday evening.

The journey to the opening night goes back to October 2005, when Foster and Partners unveiled their futuristic design for this prominent newcomer to the Glasgow skyline.

At Clyde Waterfront we've been monitoring the development of The SSE Hydro and you can follow the build in our image gallery. It's been exciting to see this key Scottish venue emerge on the waterfront and to know that it is expected to contribute up to  £131 million of new revenue to the local economy every year.

Key dates on the journey

July 2006: Full planning permission is granted

Feb 2011: Lend Lease appointed to build the auditorium and begin work

Jan 2012: The first precast concrete seating terrace units are installed

June 2012: The Hydro's main central roof section is lifted into place. The event is described as the most complex engineering feat to be accomplished in Scotland in the course of the year!

October 2012: The final roof bolt is put in place at the traditional "topping out" ceremony by apprentice civil engineer John McLaughlan.

November 2012: Opening acts are announced for the first month to include JLS, Fleetwood Mac, Andrea Bocelli, Micky Flanagan, Bruno Mars, The Proclaimers, MOBO Awards, Pater Gabriel, Alter Bridge and more.

May 2013: Seat installation begins. Rod Stewart announced as the opening act on 30 September 2013

June 2013: A fire breaks out in the roof of the building, caused by welding work taking place in the roof space.

September 2013: The building is completed by Lend Lease and handed over to SEC Ltd.

Modelled on the ancient games arenas of the Greeks and Romans the auditorium does not feel vast, but surprisingly intimate. Every seat in the house has exceptional sightlines to the stage, so even up in the gods, the experience is expected to be phenomenal.

Scottish Enterprise and The SSE Hydro

Scottish Enterprise has contributed £25m to the £125 million SSE Hydro build, the largest grant contribution Scottish Enterprise has ever awarded. For every £1 contributed it will generate £7 for the Scottish economy. This financial contribution will also help to create 1400 new jobs, as well as create opportunities for Scotland's tourism sector to grow.

A host of opportunities

The SSE Hydro represents opportunities for Glasgow to grow its reputation as a centre of entertainment and to bring a massive boost to the local economy.

Speaking at the press launch, John Sharkey, Chief Executive of SEC Ltd, said, "Glasgow already has a reputation for great audiences. Now we a have a world class venue for our world class audiences."

Visit The SSE Hydro project page

Follow the build in our image gallery


26 September 2013