WORK is expected to begin “immediately”, to transform one of Edinburgh’s most iconic and cherished buildings into a music school and cultural centre.
After decades of stop-start – including an unsuccessful attempt to turn it into a luxury hotel – the neo-classical Grade A-listed Royal High School, designed by Thomas Hamilton, is set to become a National Centre for Music.
It follows a lease agreement struck between the Royal High School Preservation Trust (RHSPT) and The City of Edinburgh Council, which owns the building.
Says a media announcement issued by the RHSPT, here: “The Royal High School Preservation Trust was formed in 2015 to seek to purchase or lease the former Royal High School, to find a sustainable, cultural and public use for this outstanding piece of Scotland’s heritage.
“The Trust’s plans will ensure both the restoration of the listed buildings and the creation of world-class centre for music, including the music school, performance and public spaces.
The RSHPT’s vision for the site brings together a network of partner organisations, alongside St Mary’s Music School, with a shared vision of creating a National Centre for Music as a new platform for musical collaborations, both within the building, online and out in the wider community.”
The announcement also says: “Under criteria set by [The] City of Edinburgh Council, any proposals for the future of the building had to ensure a sustainable long-term future for the old Royal High School and be of the highest architectural quality.
“Councillors agreed in October 2021 that the RSHPT’s plan to create a new National Centre for Music on the site amply fulfilled those criteria, while offering a shared vision for the creation of a new platform for musical collaborations, both within the building, online and out in the wider community.”
Picture credit: Royal High School Preservation Trust