Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

New home for Scottish Chamber Orchestra planned for Edinburgh

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Plans are under way for a new world-class arts centre in the heart of Edinburgh, which would be the home of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

The proposal is to build the venue in St Andrew Square, which would also be used for education, conferences and public engagements.

The centrepiece would be a 1,000-seat auditorium, as well as a studio for rehearsal, recital and recording space.

The new building is planned for behind Dundas House at 36 St Andrew Square.

The historic Royal Bank of Scotland branch will continue to operate as a stand-alone branch.

The auditorium would meet the need for a purpose-built, mid-sized performance venue in Edinburgh, "combining excellent acoustics with access" for all forms of popular music, jazz, folk, chamber and other small classical music groups as well as solo and song recitals and small dance groups.

The proposed new building would provide a performance, rehearsal and recording home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, described by BBC Music Magazine as "one of the finest ensembles of its kind in the world today".

Each August the Edinburgh International Festival would adopt the complex as one of its venues for performances.

The project would:

• provide an opportunity to build new audiences across the age groups by programming a wide range of music as well as other forms of entertainment

• provide community arts companies from across Scotland and further afield with improved performance space

• provide facilities for organisations to host events and conferences

• create new restaurant, cafe and bar facilities

Impact Scotland would manage and operate the complex.

Dunard Fund, a long-term supporter of the Arts in Scotland has committed a substantial amount of money for the project as have others.

Sir Ewan Brown, who has been chairing the Impact Scotland project board, said: "I see this is a global opportunity for a global city, combining the best of the old and the new to establish a venue that will attract performers, audiences and visitors from around the world."

A spokesperson for Dunard Fund said: "Edinburgh has long awaited an iconic, acoustically superb mid-sized performance hall and we are proud to participate in this exciting project.

"The new venue would not only benefit the city's festivals and the SCO, but would also be a magnet for international touring groups representing all aspects of the performing arts."

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