University of St Andrews trumpets construction of £12.5m music centre

An important milestone in the development of Scotland’s performing arts infrastructure was marked today as work began on a state-of-the-art facility at the University of St Andrews.

The official ground-breaking ceremony for the University’s new Laidlaw Music Centre heralds a development that will provide an intimate performance venue, a flexible rehearsal space and a high-tech recording facility.

The new music building will allow the University to provide first class facilities for talented students, many of whom engage in music at the highest level in parallel with their main academic studies. It will create new opportunities for young people to connect with performing arts, allow the University to host national and international level recitalists, and provide access to the latest recording technology. The building will include three rehearsal rooms, ten practice rooms, a recording suite, a library and one of the finest chamber recital halls in Scotland.

The University has funded the project with philanthropic support from donors including the McPherson Trust, Sir Ewan and Lady Brown, and Lord Laidlaw.

At the ground-breaking ceremony it was announced that the new building will be named the Laidlaw Music Centre in recognition of the £4 million donation which turned vision into development.

Master of the United College, Professor Garry Taylor, said: “The Laidlaw Music Centre, together with the Byre Theatre, is positioned to transform the east end of St Andrews into an exciting and vibrant cultural quarter. Many of our students are attracted to St Andrews because of the quality of our provision in the performing arts, and these talented musicians will benefit enormously from the new music centre, helping to strengthen the town’s musical life, both within the University and within the community, and connect St Andrews with national and international cultural life in new ways.”

Designed by architects Flanagan Lawrence, the centre is being built in central St Andrews on a site on Queens Terrace; contributing to the features of St Mary’s Quadrangle, while complementing the neighbouring St Regulus Hall student residence and the Bute Building.

Completion is expected in late 2019.

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