Topping out at The Hydro

30 Oct 2012

A topping out ceremony has been held at The Hydro, to mark the completion of the main structure.

The final roof bolt in The Hydro, Glasgow's new 12,000-capacity entertainment arena, has been put in place in a traditional "topping out" ceremony.

The honour of tightening the last bolt fell to 20-year-old apprentice civil engineer John McLaughlan, who has been on site since work began in April 2011.

John, from Knightswood, Glasgow, was joined on a platform high in the roof of The Hydro by Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson, SECC Chairman Sir Ian Grant, SECC Chief Executive John Sharkey and Gordon Anderson, executive general manager of Lend Lease, the main contractor.

The young apprentice, who combines his shifts at The Hydro with day release at Stow College, said: "Working at The Hydro has been a fantastic opportunity for me and has given me a foot in the door in the industry, one for which I am very grateful. My long-term plan is to study for a degree in civil engineering at Glasgow Caledonian University."

Gordon Anderson, executive general manager of Lend Lease, said: "The completion of The Hydro's roof structure is a highly complex feat of engineering, and today's topping out is a major step forward in The Hydro's construction programme. Over a million man hours have been safely completed in the construction process to date and this is a testimony to the dedication and commitment of the whole supply chain and workforce. We can take great pride in their achievement. It is a fantastic safety record and an example for the industry to follow."

The Hydro, which is designed by Foster + Partners and will open in September 2013, is a purpose-build, 12,000-capacity entertainment arena which will play host to around 140 events each year, and has the potential to inject an additional £131m into the local economy. It will add to the SECC's events portfolio, and be in the top five busiest indoor entertainment arenas in the world, alongside such venues as Madison Square Garden in New York and The O2 in London.

It is the latest addition to the SECC complex, together with the SECC itself and the Clyde Auditorium.


  • The SSE Hydro