5 Lesser Known Facts about the EICC

We may be one of the UK’s most well-known event spaces, but there are some facts about the EICC that are not widely known. Here are five surprising things we bet you didn’t know about the EICC…

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The site 

From the outside, there’s nothing too out of the ordinary about our location - at the centre of the city’s business district. But if you were to - quite literally - dig a little deeper, you’d find the EICC is actually built on disused railway tunnels - one of which was even used for performances of ‘Trainspotting Live’ during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Between the mid nineteenth century and the mid twentieth century, these tunnels connected to Princes Street’s old railway station, The Caledonian. Today, you’ll find a namesake hotel in its place: Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh: The Caledonian - affectionately known to locals as The Caley.

Before and after. Top; the route of the Caledonian Railway passing under Morrison Street and below; the Western Approach Road as it is today. The tunnels visible on the right of the first image form part of the lower levels of the EICC

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Please be seated…

You might wonder what the EICC and British Airways have in common. Well, it all comes down to comfort. If you find yourself sitting in the Pentland Auditorium, each of the 1,200 seats are modelled on those found in BA’s first-class cabins. This makes for top-rate comfort during long conference sessions - plus, the operational team will keep the temperature just right - around 21°C - to ensure the audience remains switched on and engaged in the conference content, whilst sitting comfortably.

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Tonnes of production opportunities

In order to make our clients' events look and sound brilliant, we use rigging points: a lot of them. There are 129 one-tonne rigging points in the EICC’s Lennox Suite ceiling, allowing our tech team to hang production kit such as lights, speakers, banners or video screens - creating an awe-inspiring effect.

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Hidden cables

Like a duck on water, the smooth operation of our suites is only made possible by the work beneath the surface. Snaking underneath the Lennox Suite, for example, is a huge length of cabling - 11 miles of it, in fact (almost enough to stretch from the EICC to Edinburgh Airport and back!). This is what enables the floor to move seamlessly between its various modes: raked auditorium, arena and tiered cabaret.

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Not all of our machinery is quite so expansive, however - in fact, some of it is very compact. At the EICC, one of our most impressive features is the way the auditoria can move around. What’s perhaps more note-worthy is that the motor that revolves the Sidlaw and Fintry auditoria in and out of the Pentland Auditorium is the same size as a domestic washing machine!