Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh's Ross Bandstand demolition plans to go to councillors

Edinburgh's Ross Bandstand Image copyright Google

The redevelopment of the Ross Bandstand in Edinburgh city centre is set to be approved by councillors next week.

City hotelier Norman Springford revealed earlier this year he was willing to pay for the redevelopment of the 80-year-old venue in West Princes Street Gardens.

The benefactor teamed up with City of Edinburgh Council to form a steering group to develop the plans.

The wider proposals include landscaping the gardens.

Capacity of 2,400

Under the plans, the 140-year-old Ross Fountain would be refurbished and visitor facilities added to the gardens.

Councillors will discuss a report outlining the planned appointment of a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) to front the proposed redevelopment.

If councillors approve the plans next week at a full council meeting, the proposals will then go to the Scottish government as the Ross Bandstand is on common ground.

The Ross Bandstand was developed as a venue in 1935 and has a capacity of 2,400.

The original facility dates back to 1877 and was gifted to Edinburgh by William Henry Ross, chairman of the Distillers Company Ltd.

'Recognisable backdrop'

Andrew Burns, City of Edinburgh Council's leader and convener of the corporate policy and strategy committee, said: "While the Ross Bandstand remains a key venue for the city's famous festival fireworks and Hogmanay concert in the gardens, it is more than 80 years old and is nearing the end of its useful life.

"By working in partnership with a SCIO, we hope to be able to work towards the creation of a new facility as part of major renewal of the gardens.

"The area is Common Good land and we are well aware of the implications of building in public parks, so while there is still much work to be done, we are making a commitment to supporting and progressing plans."

Richard Lewis, the city's culture convener, said: "In the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, in the heart of West Princes Street Gardens, the Ross Bandstand boasts what must be one of the most recognisable backdrops on earth.

"We are making a considerable step by progressing redevelopment ideas for the site and I hope that by working with Mr Springford, we will be able to support an exciting design competition with the SCIO to see this incredible asset brought back into suitable use."

Mr Springford said: "A charitable trust has been set up and we are all looking forward to moving this project forward which will hopefully deliver immediate improvements in West Princes Street Gardens."

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