Plans unveiled for ‘world-class’ Edinburgh concert venue

SCOPlaying106_largeCharitable trust IMPACT Scotland and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) have developed a proposal to create a new “world-class” arts centre in the heart of Edinburgh.

The facility, set immediately behind Dundas House at 36 St Andrew Square, would be the new home of the SCO, as well as a venue for education, conferences and public engagement.

According to the developers, the centrepiece is a 1,000 seat auditorium, as well as a studio providing rehearsal, recital and recording space “to rival the best in Europe”.

Under the plans, the historic Royal Bank of Scotland branch will continue to operate as a stand-alone branch. A new restaurant, cafe and bar facilities will also be created to complement the development.

IMPACT Scotland would be responsible for oversight of constructing the new building and will manage and operate the complex. The trust will shortly start the process of inviting expressions of interest from architect-led design teams, as well as an acoustic expert, with the intention of making appointments early next year.

Initial discussions with the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government on possible public sector partnerships have been positive and are ongoing.

Backers of the proposals said the auditorium would meet the long-recognised need for a purpose-built, mid-sized performance venue in Edinburgh, combining excellent acoustics with access for all forms of popular music, jazz, folk, chamber and other small classical music groups as well as solo and song recitals and small dance ensembles.

Sir Ewan Brown, who has been chairing the IMPACT Scotland Project Board said: “I see this is a global opportunity for a global city, combining the best of the old and the new to establish a venue that will attract performers, audiences and visitors from around the world.”

Colin Buchan, chairman of the SCO, said: “With this wonderful support from the SCO’s long-term supporter, Dunard Fund, this project provides a fantastic opportunity for the SCO to provide an open, welcoming and unforgettable audience experience in a much-needed mid-sized performance venue with stunning acoustics in the heart of Edinburgh. Not only will it provide our internationally renowned orchestra with a splendid new home, it will also enable the SCO to reach out in ways that have not been possible in the past.”

Share icon
Share this article: