Royal Bank of Scotland formally hands over the New Town site for Edinburgh’s new concert hall

Royal Bank of Scotland transfers the ground behind Dundas House in the final step before work begins on site.

City’s first new concert hall in over 100 years will complete James Craig’s plans for Edinburgh’s iconic New Town.

IMPACT Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland today marked the transfer of the land behind the Royal Bank of Scotland’s iconic Dundas House, clearing the final step to allow work to begin preparing the New Town site for the construction of Dunard Centre which will begin later in 2023.  

The music venue, which was given the green light by Edinburgh’s planning authorities in November 2021 is set transform the city’s cultural offering with the construction of its first purpose built concert hall in over 100 years.
Alison Rose, Chief Executive of the NatWest Group, of which the Royal Bank of Scotland is part, visited the site with Gavin Reid, Co-Chair of IMPACT Scotland and Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, to mark the moment the site is handed over.

Alison Rose said: “Edinburgh is a global capital and world stage for international arts, culture and music. The Dunard Centre will provide further space to continue that tradition and offer further opportunity for more musicians and artists to develop and create. This project is a great example of what can be achieved with close collaboration across the city’s public and private sectors.  Royal Bank of Scotland is delighted to play a part in helping bring this project to life.”

Gavin Reid said: “Together, we are building a bold and brilliant venue which is an expression of faith in our city, our country and our future. The Dunard Centre will be a place where musicians and audiences come together to create and share extraordinary experiences. Through this final design stage we are enjoying the challenge of ensuring excellence in every surface, corridor, seat and handrail. Every detail of the building will be finely tuned to make sure that concert going is an inspirational and exhilarating experience.” 

A specialist team led by award winning David Chipperfield Architects and Nagata Acoustics has designed the Dunard Centre to rival any in the world for design, intimacy and clarity of sound.  With seating for 1000 people, the venue will be a transformational new home for Scottish Chamber Orchestra, an iconic new venue for Edinburgh International Festival and a gift to music lovers and performers of all genres.  

It is expected that all clearance work will complete later in 2023 and that work will begin on the new concert hall soon after.    
Dunard Centre is being funded through substantial philanthropic donations, including the visionary support of Dunard Fund, and underpinned by £25 million support from the Scottish and UK governments and the City of Edinburgh Council, as part of the City Region Deal.  Royal Bank of Scotland is supporting the project by providing a long-term lease for the land which sits directly behind Dundas House on St Andrew Square.  A campaign is well underway to secure the remaining funds required before construction begins later in 2023. 

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