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Handover marks milestone for Dunard Centre

Alison Rose and Gavin Reid with a model of the Dunard Centre

A formal transfer of land behind the Royal Bank of Scotland’s historic Dundas House in Edinburgh has taken place ahead of work beginning on a new music venue.

Construction of the Dunard Centre, the first purpose-built concert hall in over 100 years, will begin this year.

Alison Rose, chief executive of the NatWest Group, parent group of RBS, visited the site with Gavin Reid, co-chair of campaign and fund-raising group Impact Scotland who is also chief executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Dame Alison 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.”

Mr 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 David Chipperfield Architects and Nagata Acoustics has designed the Dunard Centre.  With seating for 1,000, the venue will be a transformational new home for Scottish Chamber Orchestra and a new venue for Edinburgh International Festival.

It is expected that all clearance work will complete later in 2023 and that work will begin on the new concert hall soon afterwards.

Dunard Centre is being funded through substantial philanthropic donations, including the 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 underway to secure the remaining funds required before construction begins.

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