With a revised design currently under development for The Dunard Centre, supported by Royal Bank of Scotland, the project is entering a new phase and an opportunity to refresh the board membership of IMPACT Scotland.

Sir Ewan Brown, who has led the project since its inception in 2012 and has served as Chair of IMPACT Scotland since 2016, has decided to retire.  Fergus Linehan, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, and Gavin Reid, Chief Executive of the SCO, will serve as interim joint-chairs until a new appointment is made.  

Sir Ewan said:

“Leading the project to create a new world-class concert hall in Edinburgh has been a privilege and one of the most exciting challenges I have worked on. It has been a huge pleasure to work with a talented and dedicated team and we have been overwhelmed by the support to create Edinburgh's first purpose-built music venue in over a century.

“These are challenging times for everyone, but with a new design under development we are well placed to get underway once planning is secured and to make a contribution to the rebuilding of the city’s cultural life following on from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Speaking on behalf of the IMPACT Scotland Board, the interim joint-chairs thanked Sir Ewan for his enormous contribution to the project -

Fergus Linehan said:

“Ewan has been the driving force behind the concert hall project since its inception and has worked tirelessly to garner support and drive the project forward. To keep the project focussed on the prize of a truly transformational, world-class concert hall, whilst overcoming some complex challenges, is testament to Ewan’s dedication and expertise.” 

Gavin Reid said:  

“The creation of The Dunard Centre is a huge opportunity to contribute to the future cultural life of the City and surrounding region.  Thanks to Ewan, we are in a very good position to take the project forward to completion. I look forward to working with him through this transitional period and with our new board members who bring with them an impressive range of experience.  On behalf of the board, I would also like to thank Karine, Colin and Morag for their outstanding contribution which has done much to shape the direction of the project.” 

The changes to the IMPACT Scotland board include the appointment of Fiona Duncan, Michael Thorne and Colin Liddell as trustees, with Colin Buchan, Karine Polwart and Morag Campbell stepping down. Further appointments are currently being sought to broaden the input from across the creative industries.


1.    The Dunard Centre, supported by Royal Bank of Scotland, will be Edinburgh’s first, purpose-built music and performance venue in over 100 years.
2.    The building is being designed by David Chipperfield Architects.  The original design received planning permission in April 2019.  In July 2019 Edinburgh St James petitioned the Court for Judicial Review, contending that City of Edinburgh Council had failed to follow proper procedures in granting the planning consent.  This resulted in IMPACT Scotland pausing all work on The Dunard Centre.  Following mediation in January 2020, an agreement was reached whereby IMPACT Scotland agreed to have the building redesigned and vary the planning application, in return permission to dispose of the judicial review would be sought from the Court.
3.    The project entered RIBA Stage 2 (Concept Design Stage) of the design development in July 2020. 
4.    The variation of the existing planning application is estimated for early 2021.  Timelines for commencement of construction and opening are currently dependent on the progress of gaining planning approval.
5.    Details of the IMPACT Scotland Trustees: