Project loses figurehead

Brown quits concert hall project following legal row

Impact concert hall

The concert hall would be Edinburgh’s first in a century

Businessman Sir Ewan Brown has stood down from leading efforts to create Edinburgh’s first new concert hall for more than a century.

Sir Ewan will leave the Dunard Centre project under an overhaul of its board following a lengthy legal wrangle which threatened to bring an end to the project.

The backers of Dunard want to build the concert hall behind the historic Royal Bank of Scotland head office in St Andrew Square.

A dispute with the developer of the neighbouring St James development over the height of the concert hall was only resolved in January after an agreement to “substantially reduce” its size.

Designed by award-winning British architect David Chipperfield, the proposed new 1000-capacity home for both the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Edinburgh International Festival had been due to open next year.

Impact concert hall RBS HQ

There were complaints about the hall’s height

It is now said to be “several years” from opening because of the need to redesign it.

Edinburgh International Festival director Fergus Linehan and Gavin Reid, chief executive of the SCO, have agreed to jointly chair the board of Impact Scotland, the charity driving the project.

Investment banker Sir Ewan led efforts to secure planning permission the project as well as pledges of £25 million worth of backing from the UK and Scottish governments and the city council.

However within months of councillors deciding to rubber-stamp the plans for the venue, Nuveen Real Estate launched a bid for a judicial review, claiming that the correct planning procedures had not been followed for the development.

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