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Rival proposal revealed

Music school plan submitted for Royal High

Music school

Plans to transform Edinburgh’s former Royal High School into a new music school have been submitted by the Royal High School Preservation Trust.

The plans are backed by the philanthropic Dunard Fund, and provide an alternative to the proposed five-star hotel designed by Hoskins.

Richard Murphy Architects and Simpson & Brown are behind the music school plan which would see the creation of a 300 seat concert hall and three other public performance spaces, together with a contemporary foyer that would also be used as a multi-functional space.

William Gray Muir, chairman of The Royal High School Preservation Trust, said:  “We fully recognise that the City of Edinburgh Council is not currently in a position to accept our offer due to its existing commitment to a commercial development.

“However, we have consulted widely and believe that our plans satisfy the need for conservation, public access, a culturally suitable and economically sustainable use.

“Therefore, if the commercial application were refused, the Trust is poised and ready to enter any new competitive process to acquire the building for St Mary’s Music School. Such a process could be completed in a matter of months.”

The school plan, although having wide support, is unlikely to get off the ground. The council already has an agreement with Duddingston House Properties and there is a view among senior figures at the authority that the city cannot turn away an opportunity to attract a global hotel operator.

Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, which runs 18 hotels worldwide, including the Carlyle Hotel in New York and the Hôtel de Crillion in Paris, has been announced as operator.


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