Liverpool is set to be home to a new exhibition centre after plans for the £40 million structure were given the go-ahead.

The city's planning committee approved proposals for the Exhibition Centre Liverpool and integrated hotel which will be situated at Kings Dock. The latter part of the development is expected to cost £26 million to complete and both structures will form part of Arena and Convention Centre (ACC) Liverpool. The group has been responsible for the regeneration of the Kings Dock area which has seen the creation of the Echo Arena and BT Convention Centre.

Officials explained that the new exhibition centre and hotel will form another part of this development, and construction is expected to begin in late autumn of 2013. It will span over 8,100 sq m containing three main halls as well as a 200-room "headquarters" hotel. The facility will be able to hold a number of large-scale conferences, trade and consumer exhibitions, concerts, and national and international sporting events.

The new facilities will allow Liverpool to compete with neighbour Manchester in being able to attract major names to the city. Manchester has both an arena and exhibition centre already in place thanks to the G-MEX being rebranded and repurposed as a multi-use concert hall. Officials believe that the new development in Liverpool will provide a major boost for the city once it is officially opened in spring 2015.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said: "This decision from the planning committee means we can now press ahead with delivering an absolutely world-class waterfront development.

"Exhibition Centre Liverpool and the integrated hotel will allow us to build on the massive success of ACC Liverpool, and will drive our transformation into one of Europe’s leading destinations for large-scale conferences, exhibitions and events."

Contractor ISG is expected to get to work on the creation of the new exhibition centre in the coming weeks with a view to get the construction underway later in the year.

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