New design for proposed Edinburgh concert hall

A PROPOSED concert hall – to be located between George Street and the St James Quarter in Edinburgh – has published plans for a more modest design to those originally offered.

The reduced-height design plans are being submitted as “a variation to the [original] planning application” and, if planning permission is granted, construction is likely to begin next year.

The plans are expected to be considered by The City Edinburgh Council’s planning committee in the coming months.

In July last year, the organisation behind the venue – International Music and Performing Arts Charitable Trust (IMPACT) Scotland – agreed to a re-design following mediation with the developers of the neighbouring St James Quarter.

Says an IMPACT Scotland media release (here): “The 1,000-capacity hall is designed with the flexibility to welcome the widest possible range of acoustic and amplified music and performance to a mid-sized venue.

“The simple elegance of the exterior reflects the surrounding neoclassical design of the Edinburgh New Town and opens up an undiscovered area of the city centre, linking the St James Quarter, St Andrew Square and the Register Lanes and contributing to the regeneration of the area.”

The architect is world-renowned Sir David Chipperfield. The proposal is being supported by The Royal Bank of Scotland, whose former head office, Dundas House, on St Andrew Square, will provide an entrance to the venue.

It is believed Dundas House land is being leased to the venue at a nominal rent.

The media release goes on to say: “The budget for the project remains at £75 million, with two-thirds of this being met by private philanthropy and fundraising.  £35 million is being donated by Dunard Fund, and a fundraising campaign for a further £15 million has already received significant pledges.

“As part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal the UK and Scottish Governments are each providing £10 million, and [The] City of Edinburgh Council £5 million.”

Picture credit: IMPACT Scotland

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