Plans to double the function space within the Edinburgh International Conference Centre are expected to more than double the economic benefits it brings to Edinburgh and Scotland to £39.5m by the year 2010.
The centre, which opened in 1995, will gain an extra 2,000sq m of space by 2006 from a £25m development below the adjacent Morrison Street car park. The project will be funded by selling the rights to develop the land above the car park into offices.
The centre has generated more than £72m of business for Edinburgh and Scotland since it opened in 1995, and last year generated £17m in financial benefits. It is ranked as the world's 12th best congress destination by the International Congress and Conventions Association.
The expansion will allow the centre to continue to attract international conferences, which make up 40% of its business, and help it host other high-profile events, such as fashion shows, product launches and sporting events.