SCOTLAND'S new concert venue lights up the night sky in a sea of blue and green ahead of its opening event next week.

The Hydro in Glasgow will stage around 140 concerts every year, with big names such as Rod Stewart and Barry Manilow on the bill so far, and operators believe it will boost the local economy by £131 million annually.

A preview for specially invited guests will take place inside the building today, just days after Glasgow City Council issued a temporary occupation certificate, giving the venue the go-ahead to open on time.

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At one stage a delayed opening of several months was considered and the SECC's John Sharkey said in July that completion of the venue was "really going to be right down to the wire". In the event, the handover of the building from contractors Lend Lease to owners SECC only took place on Monday night.

Stewart will now be the first performer to grace the stage of the 12,000-seater area at its opening night on Monday.

It is hoped the Hydro will attract an audience of one million visitors each year, which will make it the fifth busiest entertainment arena in the world, alongside venues such as New York's Madison Square Garden and London's O2 arena.

A SSE Hydro spokesman said: "Currently, the SECC is filled to capacity. Now, the creation of The SSE Hydro means we can expand our capacity and attract the world's biggest stars and sporting events."