Proposal for new Edinburgh performance venue

Call for auditorium to be included in City Region Deal.

The Scottish Government is keen to see proposals for a new performance venue in Edinburgh included in the forthcoming City Region Deal, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop confirmed today.

The charitable trust IMPACT Scotland and Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) are behind a proposal to create a new 1,000 seat world-class auditorium in St Andrew’s Square, which would become the new home of the SCO. It would also be a venue for musical performances, conferences, public educational engagement and be used each August by the Edinburgh International Festival.

Speaking in a Scottish Parliament debate to highlight the importance of the Edinburgh Festivals in the 70th anniversary since they were founded, Ms Hyslop said:  

The Scottish Government has been a strong supporter and fully engaged in the development of the proposed IMPACT performance venue since initial conversations in 2013 when I met with the donors and Royal Bank of Scotland.

“We saw great value in the proposal and funded the initial feasibility study. Since then, we have been in discussion with partners involved in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal to secure their support for the venue, and I’m pleased that these negotiations have progressed.

“This project will secure a critical new performance venue in the centre of Edinburgh; provide a home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra; and will be used exclusively for Festival performances in August. The economic and cultural benefits of such a venue will be felt widely across Edinburgh and its surrounding regions and across Scotland. “In the face of increasing national and international competition, this support will optimise Edinburgh’s position as an international festival city and Scotland’s reputation as a leading centre for music and the performing arts.”


City Region Deals establish new collaborative regional partnerships, focused on long-term strategic approaches to improving regional economies. The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region comprises six local authorities (City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Borders Council, Fife Council, Midlothian Council, East Lothian Council and West Lothian Council).

They have joined together with the region’s five universities, five colleges and the business community to develop an interconnected set of proposals that they consider will deliver a positive step change to the regional economy over the next ten years.

We are currently in the advanced stages of detailed discussion with the city region partners and the UK Government as we further develop the proposals and negotiate towards a Heads of Terms agreement. The scale of the ambition of the deal and the projects included within it will be subject to negotiation between the partners and Governments. 


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