Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh hits revamp target

Assembly Rooms in George Street The Assembly Rooms building in George Street is undergoing an 18-month refurbishment

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A project to renovate the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh has reached its £9.3m funding target after a £441,000 boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The venue's theatres are being refurbished and two high-end shops and a restaurant are being built into the George Street property.

Edinburgh's biggest Fringe promoter, The Assembly Theatre, recently moved out of the space after 30 years.

The 18-month works are due to finish in summer 2012.

Edinburgh City Council is using £2m from its budget as well as a £6m loan and donations from the Scottish government and Historic Scotland to pay for the work.

The council said it would pay back the loan using rental income from the shops and restaurant.

'Beautiful venue'

Deidre Brock, Edinburgh City council's culture and leisure convener, said: "Work is already under way to transform Edinburgh's much loved Assembly Rooms into one of the most sought after events and performance hubs in the UK.

"The contractors are on site and are working on the first phase of the refurbishment.

"This much appreciated grant award from the Heritage Lottery Fund follows on from equally welcome recent contributions from both the Scottish Government and Historic Scotland."

Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: "The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to support a project which will inject new life, light and splendour into the Assembly Rooms.

"This beautiful venue has its roots in Edinburgh's social, architectural and cultural history.

"The refurbishment will allow it to sparkle once again for the benefit of residents and visitors to the city for many years to come."

The Assembly Theatre is moving to George Square.

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