At the end of September, the OVO Hydro on the banks of the River Clyde celebrated its 10th birthday in style by launching a celebration of the last decade at one of the world’s busiest and best venues.

The Hydro, which forms a key part of the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) and has a capacity of 14,300, welcomed acts including Shania Twain, Busted, and New Order to mark the landmark moment for Scotland’s home of live entertainment.

Since opening its doors on September 30, 2013 with an unforgettable performance from Rod Stewart, the OVO Hydro has welcomed more than 10 million visitors and has continually ranked in the top five busiest arenas across the world, most recently securing the number one spot in the world on the Billboard Top Grossing Venues (with a capacity of 10-15k).

From hosting global superstars Prince, Madonna, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney to home-grown heroes Lewis Capaldi, Paolo Nutini, Kevin Bridges and Still Game, the past 10 years at the OVO Hydro have showcased some of the best in entertainment on the planet.

The last decade has also seen the venue host some of the biggest international events including the 2014 Commonwealth Games and MTV Europe Music Awards, and in late 2021 it hosted the most important climate summit of our generation, COP26.

Venues such as the Hydro are important not just to the city but to the country as a whole. The SEC contributes more than £ 150 million to the Glasgow economy each year and creates an additional 2,000 additional full-time jobs.

The knock-on effect from such a major investment stretches beyond financial. Just look at the transformational regeneration of nearby Finnieston in recent years. The neighbourhood is buzzing with bars and restaurants and has benefited from a halo effect from the Hydro. The Hydro itself is iconic and is very much part of the now-famous Glasgow skyline which we so often see with the Finnieston Crane and Armadillo illuminated at night.

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This point was reinforced last week when we welcomed a new global report which ranked Glasgow as the 61st best city on the planet. The annual World’s Best Cities Report from Resonance Consultancy saw Glasgow soar up the rankings from its 93rd position last year. Glasgow is the second-ranked UK city after London, which came in again as the world’s best city, with Manchester 11 places behind at 72.

The report praised Glasgow and stated that the city powered to its global ranking on the strength of its education sector and its culture. Crucially it praised Glasgow’s music scene and nightlife, which it lists as the world’s 42nd best, as well as its overall cultural offering, ranking 72nd.

International recognition like this does not come around too often and we Glaswegians should be rightly proud of how the world views our city. Such reports help to attract investment and job creation and we should be promoting this as much as we can.

Our business narrative needs to be constantly sharpened and widely communicated so that everyone in the city is shouting about our successes in a more coherent and impactful way. One of our biggest successes in the last 10 years has undoubtedly been the Hydro and that’s why we at the Chamber of Commerce are championing the further development of the SEC campus which will see it grow even further to host events of all scales.

It is one of our 10 projects to help the city grow and its development is critical to investment, jobs and the overall reputation of Glasgow and is amongst the best economic development projects on offer today. Attracting tourism is immensely competitive just now and The SEC is one of our most potent assets in bringing people to our city. It’s a key cultural and economic asset for the city, region and country. So, a Happy birthday to the Hydro and here’s to many more decades of success.

Richard Muir is Deputy CEO of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce