New venue

Plan for 8,500-seater arena on fringe of Edinburgh

Proposed arena for Edinburgh Park

An 8,500-seater arena is being planned for a key development site on the western fringe of Edinburgh.

AEG Europe, owner of The O2 in London, wants to build the venue on vacant land at Edinburgh Park, just off the by-pass and Hermiston Gait junction with the M8.

Parabola, developer and site owner of Edinburgh Park, has agreed to sell the site between the Gyle and the Edinburgh Park rail station serving the Waverley-Glasgow line, which was earmarked for a residential and commercial scheme.

Alex Hill, president and chief executive of AEG Europe said: “It’s a location with immense potential, amplified by Parabola’s transformative development and regeneration of Edinburgh Park.

“The much needed 8,500-capacity arena will bring world-class live music and entertainment to Edinburgh, further cementing its reputation as a destination for culture and global tourism.

“We look forward to this development becoming an integral part of the local community and complementing one of the best cities in the world for the arts and live entertainment.”

Peter Millican, chairman and founder of Parabola said: ”This investment will complement all that is on offer at Edinburgh Park and ensure that the arts and culture has an outstanding live performance facility.“

A planning application will be submitted to Edinburgh City Council in the coming weeks. If approved, work is expected to begin in early 2025, with the first live events taking to the stage in 2027.

Pre application events will be held on 5 December and 9 January at 1 New Park Square – the only new building completed by Parabola apart from the multi-storey car park. It is adjacent to the Edinburgh Park Central tram stop.

1 New Park Square
1 New Park Square is the only commercial unit built on the site by Parabola

Sources say the plan for new housing on the site has been scuppered by a lack of amenity, such as schooling which has led to a lack of interest. The arena plan still envisages a range of restaurants and public realm, but the build-to-rent homes which were part of Parabola’s scheme now appear to have been dropped.

Pressure is now building for some of the vacant offices on the park to be converted to housing or other purposes. This could also reduce demand to build on green belt in the area and help to create a more integrated community.

The Gyle shopping mall was acquired in a £40m deal in August and is expected to see some redevelopment.

AEG Europe’s portfolio of live entertainment and sports assets includes: The O2 and Eventim Apollo in London; Barclays Arena in Hamburg; Mercedes-Benz Arena, Mercedes Platz and Verti Music Hall in Berlin; and Accor Arena in Paris; as well as music festivals, including BST Hyde Park in London and Rock en Seine in Paris.

Ocean Terminal deal

Ocean Terminal in Leith has agreed a long-term lease with Level X, the gaming and immersive entertainment provider, which will see a new purpose-built, state-of-the-art leisure venue open at the centre in Edinburgh next year.

With a vast range of activities on offer including bowling, minigolf, table tennis, karaoke, arcade games and a virtual reality arena, the new 29,000 sq ft venue will be adjacent to the ground floor entrance of Ocean Terminal, amalgamating nine units plus the mall space between them.

The Ocean Terminal facility will be Level X’s second Scottish venue, further to the opening of Level X St Enoch in Glasgow in September 2022 – bringing the popular gaming hospitality model to life on Edinburgh’s waterfront. Level X also opened a venue in Middlesbrough earlier this year.

Following the extension of the Edinburgh Tram network to Newhaven, Level X forms a part of Ocean Terminal’s major redevelopment as a town centre for the local community.

Ocean Terminal’s £250 million masterplan will see the centre reconfigured, alongside new homes and public realm to maximise its unique waterfront location and fulfil local aspirations for 20-minute neighbourhoods.

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